These days, sometimes motivating yourself to keep writing seems like an uphill battle. There are so many distractions, and it seems that almost everyone has let go of the notion that we deserve time to relax; days are filled with driving, errands, work, extra work, post-work work, etc. On top of that, I always find that sometimes as writers, we forget that we are artists. Our emotions affect our ability to write and generate new ideas because they preoccupy our conscious mind. The busy and stressful lives we lead tend not to help this situation.
The other day I was watching Canada’s Worst Driver, and one of the ladies on the show (clearly up for the show’s prestigious and shameful title award) became particularly distracted by things going on in her life. As a result, she could not even focus enough to do simple maneuvers such as backing up straight or three-point turns. A psychologist suggested to her that before she sits down to start driving, she write down everything that is bothering her and consuming her attention. Once complete, she was to fold up the paper and put it in her back pocket to symbolize putting those distracting thoughts and feelings away for the time being. I know this sounds a little silly, but I tried it the other day when I was working on a project that has been giving me some difficulty… and it actually worked!
So next time you find yourself with the infamous “writer’s block” or being distracted by the busyness and stresses of life, pinpoint those distractions and write them down on a piece of paper as you think of them. Then fold that paper up and put it in your back pocket or a “stress box,” and feel your mind free up. Then all that’s left is to get writing! If you want an extra creative way to lock up those troubles, try writing them on some origami paper and folding it into something simple, neutral, and unimposing.