I fell into a funk about writing. Not something that usually happens, at least in the last ten years or more. I had a hard time getting out of that funk. And I realized that I was just like everyone else with writer’s block. Laughingly, it’s that thing that I claimed I can just work right through. (Funny how that happens.) But after several months of not “feeling it” and starting to get depressed, I was able to unmask my writer’s block. Here’s my journey from stuck to creative inspiration.
Last week, when I realized that I was starting to get depressed, I realized something was drastically off in my life and started reassessing. What was it about my situation that was making it difficult for me to write and throwing off my equilibrium? And I realized there were a few factors mixed together that created this mess: Lack of Morning Pages, my environment, and disappointing numbers.
I am a huge advocate for Morning Pages. I’ve done them religiously almost every morning since 2000 when I first read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Sure, I may have started in a 6 x 8 notebook instead of an 8.5 x 11 but it got me going. After I filled a couple of those smaller notebooks, I progressed to the larger notebook.
I gradually worked my way up until I was comfortable filling those pages. The other thing I had to learn was how to become a morning person. In order to fill three pages each day, I had to gradually start getting up earlier and earlier until 5 a.m. became my wake-up time in order to get all three pages completed in a college-ruled 8.5 x 11 notebook.
Those three pages not only helped me get the crap out of my system, they became my therapy. But somewhere between the move from Orlando to Bradenton, Morning Pages fell by the wayside. I stopped completely. Although truth be told, I was getting sporadic with them from the time we moved into my Mother’s house back in 2017. Hard to write when someone is ringing a bell for assistance.
Turns out, I need Morning Pages. Not just for my creative inspiration but for my therapy. I wrote about anything and everything that wouldn’t normally see the light of day. But by writing it down, I certainly felt lighter. It’s like unloading to a therapist. Writing those three pages made me feel centered and ready to start the day.
Morning pages are also where I might find a kernel of an idea that eventually becomes a blog post. Something pops up that I realize I want to write about. I take that idea into my writing notebook where I start to flesh it out. No morning pages, fewer ideas for blog posts.
We’ve moved into a bigger apartment, but I still feel stifled. It’s because there’s still the clutter of moving. I don’t do well in clutter. I like to have things put away. Neat. I start to feel myself shrinking in clutter. The only place where a little clutter is allowed is actually in my writing area. I love to be surrounded by books, notebooks, and things to write with.
But this is a different type of clutter. We’ve still got boxes around. Some are even cluttering my office. We’re still emptying out a storage bin. We pick up a couple of boxes twice a week and go through them. While it makes for a cluttered home, we’re at least downsizing with intent.
But for me, a cluttered home is equal to a cluttered mind. Hard to go from stuck to creative inspiration because my brain is all over the place! Yesterday, I had 94 tabs open on my computer. 94! Don’t even ask me how many bookmarks I have, I’m sure it’s close to one thousand.
Sadly, I think my environment is going to be the same for a bit. We need to clean out the storage bin and downsize what we don’t need. We have a new storage area in our complex but I don’t just want to move boxes from one storage area to another. Some of this stuff we haven’t opened since we moved to Florida. It truly is time for another intentional decluttering.
When Covid hit, my number of readers shot up. Post Covid, they started going down. Although I maintained the same average during all of 2021. My numbers really started dropping in 2022. That’s also when we moved to Bradenton from Orlando. The apartment was smaller, the morning pages stopped completely. And I think that’s when I also started to wonder if I should keep the blog going.
Funny thing is, I don’t obsessively track my numbers. If I didn’t see such a lift in 2020, I might not really care about it now. I blog because I like it. I was blogging without high numbers before Covid and now I think I can continue blogging without the high numbers. The numbers only bothered me because of the funk I was in and not the cause of the funk.
At least for now, blogging is something I still like to do. And now that I know what’s causing my writer’s block, I can push that out of the way, continue with my Morning pages, declutter my environment, and continue my journey from stuck to creative inspiration.