When Writing Doesn’t Flow

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Last year, I was working with a writing mentor. Every month, I had to write up two 12-page submissions. Some pieces were not difficult to write. I had an idea, and writing it up was just a matter of finding time and space. Other times, I resisted with all my might, because either what I was about to write was too painful, or because I put pressure on myself to produce the next piece before the deadline.

In moments like that I had two strategies:

  1. I sat at my computer and started writing up the sensations I felt in my body. The more I dropped into my body, the better was the flow until I found myself writing up a memory I would have dismissed because it didn’t feel significant enough. The result was always surprising. In fact, this is how I’ve written some of my favourite pieces.
  2. I just went for a walk. This works best with my blog posts. If I’m stuck and unsure what to write about, I go for a walk in a local park and within 10 minutes I’ve got an idea without forcing it.

What I love about these two strategies is the element of going with the flow. It’s like I allow the writing to come through me. If I resist this flow, I just get blocked.

If you can relate, then please join me for a short healing meditation. I’ve compiled a list of compassion phrases from the comments people made in response to my post about Yielding. As I mentioned in my previous posts, these statements are not affirmations. Their purpose is to dissolve any blocks and unhealthy patterns, if any. If you say a phrase and there’s no resonance, that’s OK. There’s no harm in giving yourself compassion. And if something else is coming up for you, feel free to change the words.

 

If you prefer to read the statements, please take a couple of breaths to ground yourself, bring your attention to your heart-centre and solar plexus, and give yourself warm heart energy, while reading out the statements (preferably out loud).

  • I’m so sorry you get in your own way
  • I’m so sorry you resist writing your own truth out of fear of hurting others
  • I’m so sorry you are overwhelmed
  • I’m so sorry you haven’t got enough time for writing
  • I’m so sorry it’s difficult to go with the flow
  • I’m so sorry there are so many distractions
  • I’m so sorry you’ve got so much on your plate that you end up feeling creatively blocked
  • I’m so sorry you resist writing because you believe that publishers won’t accept your work anyway
  • I’m so sorry you resist finishing what you start and publishing it for other eyes to see
  • I’m so sorry you scared of potential criticism
  • I’m so sorry you believe that if you don’t put your book out there, no one can say it’s not good enough
  • I’m so sorry you are constantly worried about doing things right
  • I’m so sorry that you resist writing the first draft out of fear that it’s going to be bad
  • I’m so sorry that you are concerned that your initial attempt may make you lose faith altogether
  • I’m so sorry you chose to procrastinate with housework, Facebook or phone calls instead of writing your book
  • I’m so sorry it’s difficult to let go sometimes
  • I’m so sorry your self-doubt gets in the way of your writing
  • I’m so sorry you worry far too much.

That’s it for now. Take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale through your mouth; bring your attention to your feet on the ground; and have a glass of water as soon as possible.

So, how was it? Let me know below, please.

15 thoughts on “When Writing Doesn’t Flow

    • Thank you so much, Fiona. I’m so grateful for your kind words. I’m well, thank you. Having a productive morning, so feeling good 🙂 Have a wonderful day ahead.x

      Like

  1. Hi Gulara

    I left you a message about this on your facebook page but just wanted to let you know that this section of what you’ve written here is right in line with the theory/method I am proposing in my new book on Memoir Writing titled “Don’t Write Your MEmoir without ME?”. I am hoping I can fit this quote from you into the chapter where I cite how other authors feel about this approach. Permission to use if I can please:

    “I sat at my computer and started writing up the sensations I felt in my body. The more I dropped into my body, the better was the flow until I found myself writing up a memory I would have dismissed because it didn’t feel significant enough. The result was always surprising. In fact, this is how I’ve written some of my favourite pieces”

    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely ALL of these points relate to me Gulara. Thanks for pin-pointing them so clearly. I’m very aware of the power of my resistance to getting down to writing – (actually, sometimes not aware of it). I also find walking to be of help as this lets my ego & inner critic take a back seat at least for a while. I think it was Wilbur Smith (SA writer) who said that writing is 99% perspiration, 1 % inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does not stop amazing me how immense human potential to resistance is, Susan. Even when we know what’s for the best, even when we have the tools and self-awareness – we still resist. I do it all the time. It’s so … human. And this is when the community becomes essential. This is when we can see our blindspots. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I really appreciate your feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you. I am bookmarking this page. I was working on a piece last week that I STRUGGLED with. I mean, I was almost sweating! Paragraphs out of order, leaps in logic, cliches all over the place… it was a mess and I just couldn’t seem to make it work. So I took a brisk walk, came back and eventually cobbled something together that I wasn’t really happy with.

    Next time I’m floundering, I’ll come back here first.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I couldn’t agree more with your comment about writing flowing through you, I feel exactly the same. When I started writing in December I wondered when I would run out of things to write yet today I have published my 70th post. Very blessed!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Congratulations! 70 posts in half a year is truly impressive. I used to worry sick that nothing will ever come to me after publishing every single post. Until… I realised that life supplies endless topics for posts. Just being present to life and willing to be real is enough. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

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