Overcoming Writers Block

take_a_breakContinuing the series on overcoming writers block, here is the next tip:

Tip #4) Choose to take a break

Sometimes overcoming writers block requires that we choose to take a break.  One of my favorite don Juan quotes is in Carlos Castaneda’s book, title, when he says, “Warriors do not demolish walls.  They move under or around them.  They do not beat their heads against walls.“

To me what this means is that sometimes the best thing to do is surrender.  If you’ve reached a block and you’ve tried to get through it, but it’s just not happening, sometimes the best thing to do is just surrender to it.

Choose to take a break.

There’s something very different about the energy of choosing.  It empowers you.  After all, if you’re not writing, you’re just sitting there feeling frustrated, stressed out, and angry, and it’s not changing anything, maybe it’s time to let it go.

When you choose to take a break, you take the power back into your own hands.  Now you are making a conscious choice, not to write for a specified amount of time.  It’s not the writer’s block making the choice.  You are the one making the choice.  There is empowerment and liberation in making a conscious decision.  And you will immediately feel so much more relaxed and energized.

You may even start writing again!

But remember, that’s not really the point.  The point is to empower yourself.

For me, this realization came in a roundabout way.  It’s wasn’t about having writers block, per se.  I was waiting for a call about a job.  The whole situation was stressing me out because if the job came through I would have to cancel other important appointments during the week and reschedule them.  I would have to drive from Denver to Broomfield five days a week for several weeks.

The situation itself was stressful, but the waiting on top of it, made it difficult for me to focus and concentrate, which in turn was causing writers block.

Finally I made a decision.  I would relax and wait for the call until 6:00pm.  After 6:00pm, I would make a decision to go ahead with my current schedule and not cancel any of my appointments.  As soon as I told myself to just give up trying to do anything until 6:00pm, just relax, and after 6:00pm I would make a firm decision about my schedule, I was immediately able to return to my writing with total focus and concentration.

In other words, as soon as I surrendered to my situation and decided that I would only wait until 6:00pm, all the energy I had been using in resistance, fighting with my frustration around the unpredictability of my schedule, that energy was released for other things.

In a way, it was a lucky break for me that I was able to return to my writing feeling refreshed and energized, able to concentrate and focus, but that wasn’t the point.

The point was that I made a firm decision.  I surrendered to the situation and made a choice.  Choosing to take a break was what empowered me.

Click on this link if you’d like to sign up for my in-person or online writers workshops.

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