Motivation Series, Part 1: Back to Basics – the action of writing.

When you’re overwhelmed, strip it down.

Perhaps the most common unwanted emotion I experience when it comes to my writing is being overwhelmed: overwhelmed by all the things I want to write; overwhelmed by feeling like I don’t have enough time; overwhelmed by making all the pieces of my novel fit together; overwhelmed by worries over whether I’m focusing enough on everything else that isn’t the writing, but still needs to be done for my writing.

Suddenly it all seems to be too much and I go from being overwhelmed to running away from my writing all together, simply to be able to breathe and stop feeling so overwhelmed.

Talk about a motivation killer: the writing paradox of having so much to write that you write nothing at all.

I’ve been trying something new to counter this paralyzing unease: reminding myself of why writing is my heart and soul and life. The first answer (and today’s topic), may seem almost too basic. But it’s so basic that even I realized how much I’d forgotten it. The simple action of writing.

Ever since I learned how to write, I’ve been intoxicated by the act of writing, of watching the pen glide over the page as the word in my mind becomes instantly real. Strip everything down back to the bare bones upon which every other feature of writing occurs. Writing, one word at a time, is an immediate act of creation. It’s amazing how powerful I feel after just a few minutes of this.

So recently, when I’ve begun to feel overwhelmed, I put everything aside, pick up one of my notebooks and fountain pens, and write. It doesn’t matter what I’m writing. I focus on the words magically appearing on the page. And so far, it’s worked.

So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, give it a go! I’d love to know how it works for you!

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