When you create for a living, you will experience dry spells. Those times when nothing is coming out of the brain factory. I know this for a fact. Well, at least for me. Like right now.
I have been writing blogposts for years now. Have written them from as little as three hundred words to well over two thousand. I have written blog posts for The Pyrateheart Press as well as freelance for other clients. I’m not even sure how many blog posts I have created over the last three years.
However, during the time frame when I first began to create blog posts, I have frequently run into mental blocks where the ability to write eluded me. I have simply sat down in front of my screen with my fingers on the keyboard and nothing.
I often do other things when this happens. Normally I do something physical. One, because I enjoy physical activities and two, because all my life my brain has worked better when my hands and body are busy.
It’s a simple solution for when I go brain dead. I will mow grass or work on my truck or do chores or? Well, anything that doesn’t require too much brain power but a lot of physicality. It works best when I work up a sweat.
At one time I worked out at least three days a week. This helped me quite a bit. Helped work out the tension which builds up in the mind and therefore in the body. I liked working out. I always have. Though, getting started was the biggest obstacle. Once I did then my body warmed up and my mind took a back seat to ponder all those things it needed to ponder without my involvement.
Unfortunately, I don’t work out anymore. I could give you a million excuses for why, but you know them already don’t you? As creatives we spend far too much time in front of a computer monitor and far too little time doing physical labor.
It does help but it isn’t the only way I use to overcome the dry spells. There is a saying – a change is as good as a rest. It is something that has been proven to me time and time again. Doing something different often allows the mind to put what is needed on a back burner while the forefront is working on something else.
I will sometimes watch TV. Or read something I don’t have to edit though reading has become a bit difficult to do simply for pleasure these days. I am so immersed in the publishing world that I read books in quite a different capacity. It takes a lot for me to read for the simple pleasure of reading.
Working on the other aspects of The Pyrateheart Press should help overcome my dry spells but it doesn’t. Nor does performing the work as editor or author wrangler.
I wish I had a foolproof way to overcome dry spells. I don’t. Most of the tricks I have supplied work but then again sometimes they don’t. It is a lot like gambling. You can go into a casino and be unstoppable. Win a hundred bets in a row. Feel like you are bulletproof. The next time you go in you can’t buy a win. Every time you place a bet you lose.
That’s what a dry spell feels like to me. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down to write a blog post or a story idea or even an outline and as soon as my fingers hit the keys, it’s gone. Like I rolled snake eyes on the come out roll.
There is good news however, dry spells don’t last. Sooner or later, your mind decides to let loose with whatever it has been brewing on the back burners of your mind. And when it releases the story ideas and the words flow, it is an incredible feeling. I love this when it happens. You go from completely empty to watching a story unfold in front of you. The story writes itself or so it seems. It is simply your mind giving you the story it has been writing in the background for the time you have been dry.
All in all, I have discovered dry spells do happen. They can shut you down no matter what you do to eliminate them. They can overcome any trick you have to overcome them. They can become so bad it is like watching a raging river dry up.
However, we can act with confidence because all dry spells end. They end without any help from us and when they do? Well, that dry river becomes a flood of words once more.
When you hit a dry spell, don’t let it get to you. Do something, anything you can to overcome it but if you can’t, don’t sweat it. Writers write – period. It is in their blood. Sooner or later your mind will release another story. All you must do is let it.
I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief at The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.