Oh no. It’s happening …
You sit down to write, and instead of falling into a productive creative flow, you sit there staring at a blank screen.
You watch the cursor blink on-off-on; your fingers are aching to type, poised over the keyboard — but no words are coming out.
No, Hell hasn’t frozen over. You’re just in a writing slump.
You’re in a place where you can’t write — or where you can write, but what’s coming out is, well, less than great.
What do you do?
Don’t worry, it happens to the best of ‘em.
Are you suffering from writer’s block?
There are endless things that can block your creativity: stress, a crazy day job, family stuff, the news, problems at work, fear, a poor self-image, junk food. You name it, it can block your creativity.
So there you sit, night after night, forcing yourself to be creative and finding the well has run dry. You have so much writing to do, but it’s just not coming out the way you want it to.
When this happens, your writing suffers.
Instead of forcing yourself to keep having unproductive writing sessions, it’s time for a break. And not just any old break.
What you need is a Creativity Cleanse.
Creativity cleansing = Creativity flowing
A Creativity Cleanse is a way to restart your inspiration engine, which will help you return to your writing with a bang.
Believe it or not, your body, mind, heart and soul are the core source of your creativity, and if you nourish those parts of yourself, you’ll become an unstoppable creative person.
If you want to do a Creativity Cleanse, first you’ll need to choose a proper amount of time. I recommend is at least a week. This will give you time to rest and recharge, without having to do anything creative whatsoever.
Then, when you’re ready, here’s my 7-step creativity cleanse process …
Yes, this is very, very hard to do. But you can do it. Just pretend it’s back in the day when all this tech didn’t exist. Instead, plan tech-free activities, like people-watching, fishing, or taking a walk with a friend. Try to take at least one full technology-free day during your Cleanse period. More if you can stand it.
Read something good
Visit your local library or grab a book from your personal collection. Read magazines, catch up on ones you used to read or read one you never heard of before. Read stuff you wrote years ago (if you dare). Dig in and spend some time reading during your Cleanse.
Eat real food
During your Cleanse, eat as much real food as possible. I define real food as food that is grown in nature and is whole and unprocessed. That means no fast food. Shop your local farmer’s market, pick up what looks good and cook yourself a feast. Your creativity will thank you for it.
Drink lots of water
Dehydration can cause symptoms like sweet/salty food cravings, headaches, and false hunger pangs. Your body is mostly water, so it needs water to recharge. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces every day during your Cleanse. (So if you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 ounces of water.) You will be amazed how different you feel when you’re properly hydrated.
Move your body
Exercise is an awesome stress-reliever and can help take away tension that blocks your creativity. And you don’t just have to do traditional forms like going to the gym. Take a walk, hike with your family, do some kayaking. Anything that requires you to move your body counts.
Being able to quiet your mind is a huge help in writing. No, it doesn’t tend to come easily at first, but it’s worth it. When you quiet your negative thoughts and inner editor, you will have a much easier time writing when you need to. Start out by closing your eyes, breathing in and out deeply and picturing a beach ball. Stick with it for 5-10 minutes, and keep coming back to that beach ball whenever you get distracted. If you want a guided mediation, try these Morning Meditations.
Yes, I’m giving you permission to nap. And to sleep in. And to just lay on the couch and stare at the ceiling. When your body is deprived of sleep and relaxation, nothing else (especially your creativity) works properly. Spend some time during your Cleanse napping and catching up on sleep. Your mood will be lifted and you’ll discover the energy you need to be creative again.
One final thought …
Be sure to keep a notebook and pen handy.
Even though you’re trying to avoid doing anything creative during the Cleanse, you’ll definitely get ideas for your writing (probably more than you usually do). You want to capture them to remember them.
So tell me, how do restart your creative engine?