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Don't Worry and Just Write

Don't Worry and Just Write

Don't Worry and Just Write

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 01:16 PM PST

First and foremost I want to say thank you to all the men and women who serve and have served in our armed forces. The freedoms you protect for us, as a nation, are often taken for granted but never forgotten. We see these freedoms everyday and sometimes in the simplest ways. Bloggers, in particular, provide a great example of these freedoms because we, the majority of us, can write and present anything we want. In contrast to this, individuals in China (for example) do not have the freedom to blog what they want; the Internet and speech in that region is strictly monitored.

Second, I have been overwhelmingly busy as of late with work. I know, I should not complain when the unemployment rate is still sky high and, even though they say the recession is over, there seems to be no real relief in sight. I am thankful for my job and the stability of the company I work for.

I wanted to get those two thoughts out before we dive into today's topic. I have been thinking about this topic for a few days now and I believe it is about time to share it with you. It all started with a Twitter request. Yes, Twitter can open up a nice size can of worms but it can also shine a light in the darkness. A friend and fellow author asked for advice. His problem was one that we all face at some point in time and that is writer's block; however, this was a little different. He asked for help because he is participating in Nanowrimo and while he has the passion and imagination to write he is lacking in drive a great deal.

What do you tell a person that has the desire and passion to participate in Nanowrimo; the imagination to prepare a project that will meet the deadline; the excitement of competing in the contest but lacks the drive to get the words on the paper? I found this situation very interesting so I asked him a few questions such as: are you stressed? Do you have time set aside to write? Are you distracted by situations in your life? His responded 'yes' to all of them which helped me narrow down my suggestions for him.

He stated that work was really stressful; time seemed to slip past him and when he sat down to write his thoughts were jumbled and confusing. Have you ever experienced this? If you haven't, you will and if you have than you know exactly what I'm talking about. To compound the situation he was beginning to panic because the deadline was approaching and he was falling further behind.

What advice does one give a friend and fellow writer during a situation like this? Before I share my thoughts on this I will say that my advice may or may not work. I will know in due time but there are no silver bullets when it comes to writing and writer's block so opinions and thoughts are all we have to work with. My advice is as follows:

  1. Keep in mind that you still have time to get the project done. Will you have to work harder? Yes but you can still do it.
  2. Work is the source of a large amount of our stress. When the level of stress gets to high it is time to get away from it, even if it is just a few hours. Get away from work and go somewhere that will allow you to relax and unwind. That somewhere can be a backyard swing or a drive in the country.
  3. As my friend stated, he planned a trip but with the deadline looming he was thinking about postponing it until later. I recommended that he go on the trip on one condition; he would relax and allow his thoughts to flow freely and, hopefully, work themselves out.
  4. Allow your muse to run wild. Once you have relaxed and allowed your thoughts to roam it is time to let the muse fly. The words will fly from your hand to the page in no time.
  5. Remember that writing is a way to escape what the world hands us. It should not be an added weight to your day but a source of relief; a moment to exhale.
  6. Just write. Don't think, don't edit, don't review; just write.

In closing, we do not embrace the story; the story embraces us. Once we relax and allow it to flow we become more of a vehicle so the words can appear in print rather than a leader deciding which part goes where. I am very interested to hear how his writing goes after he returns from his short vacation. If all goes well he will be back on track and will cross the Nano finish line by the end of the month.

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