How To Cure Writer’s Block – An Unconventional Approach

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Writer’s block.  

As I contemplated what I was going to write about this week I felt stuck.  Not from the lack of ideas, but from the lack of motivation to write about any of those ideas.  I actually started three different posts thinking that I just needed a better topic.

Three outlines.

Three duds.  Maybe I’ll write about that stuff some other time…  

For now, I am left with a choice.  Write something crappy just to write something.  Or, figure out why I don’t want to write and deal with it.

Ask Yourself Why You Have Writer’s Block

I have felt like this for a while now.  And even though I knew better I kept ignoring the feeling because I assumed there was no solution.  

This, of course, is ridiculous.  

Here it is.  Wednesday night.  I’ve procrastinated writing all week because I didn’t have the motivation to do it.  And now I’m feeling all kinds of stress at the amount of stuff I have to get done tonight.  It’s 6:56 pm.  If I work until midnight I might get everything finished.

And it’s my own friggin’ fault because I ignored how I felt.  

When I finally stopped to think about it, I realized I am stressed because I haven’t found the time to exercise since I quit my job.  I wake with the kids in the morning and then work at night.  Don’t get me wrong – I love my kids.  But, I also love having time to myself.  And I need time to myself to think…not just to work.


Do Something That Lets You Think

I think best when I’m doing something that doesn’t require my focused attention – like running (or mowing the lawn or cooking).  And the stuff I figure out when I’m doing those things is priceless.  

The problem is that I haven’t prioritized the time to do those things because I’m busy with other stuff.  One of those things is writing these posts and drawing these comics every week.

And there it is – the reason I don’t have the motivation to write.  

I think I’ve been ignoring the feeling because I like writing.  And I enjoy drawing the comics.  So I was having this sort of epic battle of loyalties in my head – as if admitting that I need a break is somehow bad.

It’s not, actually.  And after realizing this, I had an idea. (Fact: this idea was formed on Tuesday night while running because I couldn’t get any quality work done.)

Take A Break And Do Something Else

Last week I wrote about how I lost 60 pounds in one year (July 2012 – July 2013).  Which is awesome and all…but I’m actually behind on my goal to lose 100 pounds this year (2013).  And not finding the time to exercise is not helping.

So this is what I am doing about it.  

Each week over the next four weeks my posts will focus on my current health goals.  I’ll share specifics with you next week, but for now I’d like to invite you to join me on this challenge.

Several of you have commented on past posts, on Facebook, or spoken with me privately about your health goals.  Some of you want to try whole foods.  Some of you want to get in shape.  Some of you want to lose weight.  The specifics goals change, but there is one common theme among everyone.  Our health is suffering because we have not allocated time in our lives to be healthy.  We opt-in to quick and easy foods.  We opt-out of exercise in lieu of other more important activities.

But the truth is, there is nothing more important.  If we don’t take care of our bodies, there is no way we can take care of anyone else.  It’s time to put our health at the top of our priority list.

Starting right now, and for the next 4 weeks I commit to putting my health first.  Each week I will update you on my goals and how I did.  If you want to participate in the challenge, comment below and tell me what you will do over the next month to put your health first.

Then each week check-in with us and let us know how you are doing by commenting on that week’s post.  I’ll do a roundup post of the most inspiring stories at the end of the challenge (plus I’ll let you know if I feel inspired to write again).  So don’t be shy.  Comment below and tell me what you are doing and specifically what day you are starting.

I am starting today – August 8th, 2013.  I will do the Nerd Fitness beginner bodyweight workout three times per week.  And, I will run twice per week.  Please harass me if I don’t do this.  I need a kick in the pants.

Do you?  Comment below and tell me how I can help.

  • Sarah Brown

    Your motivation to run is inspiring. I hate running but I have this weird urge inside to do it more.

    • Ha! I know exactly what you’re talking about…the urge. Just go with it. It’s hard starting out but once you go a few times your body starts to know what to do, you relax, it’s easier to breathe and that’s when it becomes the perfect way to ‘think’.

      I’ll give you a the info I wish I knew me when I first started.

      1) Decide from the beginning that you don’t give a shit what anybody thinks about the way you look. Chances are that you won’t ‘look good’ for a few weeks. But you look better than all the lazy asses sitting on their couches so who cares? And besides, have you ever studied people when they run? Even longtime runners have weird things they do.

      2) Get good shoes. Go to a running store with a pair of old tennis shoes. Ask the salesperson to help you pick out shoes based on how you walk and the way your shoes are worn. A good pair of shoes can make or break a running experience – you can go from feeling like running is the worst most difficult sport to feeling like it’s no effort. Also, ill-fitting shoes cause injuries. And remember, everybody’s feet are different so try on a few different brands and pick the one that feels the most comfortable (even if it has ugly colors). Also, buy running shoes a half-size to big because your feet swell when you run and then they feel too small.

      3) Start slow and think about breathing. Match your breath to your stride. Breathe in every step, two steps, three steps – whatever feels best for you. Then breathe out on the same beat. Try to make it consistent. Count at first if you have to. This helped me get over the ‘I feel so clunky how do people run for fun?’ feeling much quicker than just continually running and hoping somehow it worked itself out.

      4) It’s okay if you can’t run very far. Start small – like just until the first stop sign you come to. I start out walking to get warm and then based on what I see in front of me I pick a point. When I first started I would say “just run to that mailbox”, or “just run until you get to the bridge”. Then when I got there I stopped running and just walked until I felt like running again. Then I picked my next point. As I ran more I picked points further and further away. Now I pick points that are whole miles away. Start small and push yourself once that small thing becomes easy.

      You can do it…and eventually you’ll become one of those running junkies 🙂