Over the past few months, I have been working heavily on my upcoming book, The Smoothie Life. I have been typing away, creating new recipes, and letting the words flow with ease from my brain to my fingertips to my computer.
At least this is what I would like to think has been happening.
In reality, I have been procrastinating, going on a vacation, and waiting for the “right moment” to really start working on my book. It’s not that I haven’t done anything. I have a large amount of recipes created, many more to make, and an outline of everything the book will contain. I even have a photo shoot under my belt.
But what I don’t have are words, flowing easily onto the computer screen before me. And this is quite a surprise to me.
I thought writing a smoothie book would be a piece of cake (or jar of smoothie?). I have written about juicing and smoothies a hundred times. I know the ins and outs of creating healthy and satisfying smoothies, why to include more plants into your diet, and how to do it without feeling deprived. A good portion of my last book was about juicing and plant-based eating, so this is not new territory. Except somehow it is.
My writing lately has been so focused on inner work, rather than the reasons to eat healthy and create nutrient-rich foods, so getting back to my roots in my writing has been a bit of a challenge.
I told myself I would start March, but then our cat passed away. I told myself I would start in April, once I felt more like “myself” again. I told myself I would get serious in May and even more serious after vacation. Now vacation is over and I am just now starting to gear up for writing the book, due early this summer.
My reason is that I feel creatively blocked. When I sit down to write, I just don’t always feel connected to the subject and there are other things on my brain to write about. I love smoothies and I love creating this book, but for some reason, it just hasn’t been flowing. It is only recently, when I put a few things in to action, that I got serious and the words flowed with a bit more easy, slowly dripping until (hopefully) soon the flood gates open. If you’ve ever felt this way or experienced this, you know how frustrating it can be and how hard it is to move forward.
So, here’s what can you do (and what am I doing) to get unstuck when your creativity stops flowing:
1) Walk away and work on a few other things:
Sometimes the only thing you can do is to do something else. Stressing about not being able to work on your project will only make it harder for your creative juices to flow. In stead, ditch the stress and take a time out. You might find that those few moments of relaxing or simply not working on your project are just what you need to get started again.
I have always found that moving my body, whether through yoga, walking, or any other type of exercise, clears my head and allows space for the creative juices to start flowing. It all about your brain waking up a bit more and firing on all cylinders. If you feel blocked, head to the gym, hit your mat, or head outside and focus on your body to clear your head. Then come back with a fresh outlook and more energy to work.
3) Create something else:
Often, the reason ideas aren’t flowing for one project is because they are flowing for another project. If your brain feels full of other ideas and projects that won’t seem to subside, go ahead and work on them. Get them out so the only thing sticking in your brain is the big task at hand. Even just writing down a few notes about the other projects can help you find some space to create more, and will help you get the writing juices flowing again.
4) Just start writing/working/creating:
Whatever your project is, sometimes all you can do to find your creative spark is to simply get starts. When this type of block hits, it is usually a bit of fear nagging at you. What if my creation is total crap? What if I don’t know what I’m doing? What if I can’t do it? Starting anyway can seem impossible, and what you create might be total crap, but that’s ok. The actual getting started will help you release your fear and block and get you back into your groove, where you’ll find your best, most authentic work. You can always delete or throw away the crap and keep what is good.
Now I’m going to turn it over to you – Have you ever had a creativity block when you had a deadline to reach? If so, how did you handle it?