B is for Blocked

BI went to bed last night buzzing with ideas about what to write about today. ‘Being’, ‘Barry’ (my husband), ‘Baku’ (the capital of Azerbaijan where I originally come from), ‘Balance’, the list went on and on. I wrote at least several blog posts in my head. What fun, I thought before drifting off. And here I was worried that nothing would come.

When I sat down to write this morning, I felt… blocked. I started a piece on ‘being’ but despite making pretty words, it had no energy. I felt grumpy trying to bring it alive and eventually abandoned the idea. Paradoxically, I feel blocked not from a lack of ideas. I notice that this morning I simply felt overwhelmed from infinite possibilities.

I also know that the dreaded ‘creative block’ comes when I am starting to burn out. Given that I underwent a complex surgery and was still attached to various intravenous devices a mere month ago, I am doing a lot. Apart from routine submissions to writing competitions and journals, blogging and taking a writing self-enquiry class, I put together a book proposal two days ago and sent it off to an agent I eyed about six months ago. Moreover, I started revising my manuscript (300 pages). It goes like this: my baby is under my left arm breastfeeding whilst I am frantically trying to hit the correct keys on my laptop with my right hand. Meanwhile, my head is full of guilt for not focusing on my children, not paying attention to my husband, not going out, and everything else I could be doing instead. No wonder I feel fried.

Two days ago when I was feeling particularly tired, I asked the universe a question: ‘How is it possible to do what I love and still have a life? I love writing but this pace of working feels unsustainable.’ I got an insight a few hours later. It was in a book by Ali Campbell ‘Just Get on With It’ which sat on my bedside table for two months. The answer to my question is blatantly obvious: when you put energy out (let’s say 7 out of 10), you make sure you bring energy in and preferably more than you put out (for example 8 out of 10). To bring energy in, you do things that nourish you – walk in nature, paint, sing dance… The aim is to make sure that each week you’ve got more energy in than out. At the moment, I am putting out 8 out of 10 and bringing in… between 2-4. My main recreational activities at the moment are to take a bath, gaze with my baby girl and play football with my son when he is back from nursery. Clearly not enough to balance things out… So, my aim for today is to go for a walk to recharge my batteries. Wish me luck. Until tomorrow!

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