My friend Nicky Heaney who writes at Mary Beton’s Rooms wrote a great thought-provoking piece about freezing up, and learning how to free the creative part of our brain. It really speaks to the place that I am at with my writing.
This year I have spent sometime working on this ‘word-freeze’ I guess you could call it. I have found that when bad, life-shattering things happen to me, it is like I go five thousand steps backwards in my confidence as a writer and stop taking risks. Instead I sit in front a blank page, or empty screen with a blinking cursor, and fret about any word coming out. Will it be good enough? Is it unique, interesting? Was I really a writer? Ever?
But what I have found that all of this work I have been doing for the last six weeks or so with trying to improve my cognitive flexibility through daily writing practice and allowing myself to write rubbish is helping. In the fifty days of writing three pages each day (that’s an incredible 150 pages of ramblings folks!) I have found there are a few tiny gems. Not that I was looking for them, but they are there. There have also been some interesting seeds that I feel pretty sure will germinate. And there is the reminder to that fearful part of my brain that it’s okay to take risks.
As Nicky said in her post:
“You’ve got to be brave to show up and write, because to write well is to speak your truth, which means allowing yourself to be exposed and vulnerable.”
Have a read of her post about this. It’s interesting, and informative, and maybe it might help you to take a risk and do something wonderful!
It is also worth watching this little video from a TedX talk about this idea of taking risks, and needing to fail to make something really interesting.