Writer's Block: How To Deal

It happens to everyone. No matter how long we brainstorm, meditate, or just stare at our keyboard; at some point, we all suffer from writer's block. These extremely frustrating periods of zero productivity can be caused by any number of things -- lack of motivation, anxiety, analysis paralysis, stress, fatigue; the list goes on. When you're in the throes of a creative funk, getting out of it seems impossible. But there are some simple things I have found that help get your brain cogs spinning again.

Rest up but not too much
Sleeping too much or too little can cause a block. Too much sleep can lead to hazy thinking and too little can lead to the exact same problem. It's no surprise weird sleeping habits have a major effect on your cognition and ability to write. So aim for the average 7 to 8 hours a night.

Change your environment
Whether you need noise to stay focussed or complete silence, things going on around you could be interfering with your concentration. Any element that you identify as a distraction needs to be dealt with or avoided completely. 

Avoid perfection
When you're experiencing writer's block, your initial drafts may suck -- but its fine because it's a draft. Your goal is to write anything. Don't over analyse or critique, just write! If the outcome isn't great you can always edit again later.

Cut out distractions
A majority of us now have more than just background noise as distractions that keep us from creating. Yes, I'm talking social media! All those alerts and constant "blips" can make writing less efficient and interrupt workflow. So turn all that shit on silent and focus!

Set a schedule
Writing on your own time means you can set any sort of schedule you want but if there's no real structure to your work process, you could be doing more harm than good. Set specific times for work and breaks to keep yourself on a good productive track.

Read something
Reading opens your brain up to new ideas and topics. What you read doesn't have to be profound but chances are the more you read the more you'll be able to think of something to write about.

Use your voice
If you're having trouble getting thoughts on paper, just think about how you would describe those ideas or thoughts in a conversation. Most people try to be a little more technical or verbose when writing, which doesn't exactly help with a block. Use your voice and your words.

How do you cope with writer's block? Let me know your tips and tricks in the comments below!


Let's Get Real

I'm finding it hard this week to write something light-hearted or fun. As a woman who is no stranger to off-color remarks, cat-calling, uninvited advances and touching; I think it's time to get serious. If you're a man reading this, I want you to think of every woman dear to you. I guarantee you every one of them has experienced some sort of unwanted sexual advance in their life. Unfortunately, it's the norm and has been for far too long.

I have experienced things that I still think about, dream about, and that trigger anxiety. These experiences have altered my mental health, my approach to interaction and affection, the way I take care of myself, and much more. None of this I asked for.  

As a seventeen-year-old stopping for the restroom in a hoodie and jeans, I was not asking for it, at 27 out with my fiancé and friends I did not invite a stranger to grab my ass, and I certainly didn't ask to be threatened with rape when I thwarted a man from going further after he grabbed me from behind and put his hands on me and up my dress! After leaving a job when I graduated University, I was told outside of work by a manager, "It's a shame you aren't single, because you would get fucked." I've got more, but like so many I'm not comfortable talking about them.  

It's deplorable that people think that this sort of behavior is okay, or because of their position in society, it'll all just be swept under the rug with the threat of destroying an advancing career. I applaud every woman who chooses to speak about their experiences. In regards to Harvey Weinstein, I send an enormous amount of respect and love to Rose McGowan who was dismissed and victim blamed and stayed strong for not just herself but for every woman involved for two decades! Rose, you are a fucking hurricane! Thank you. 

All About That Mug Life

Tea and coffee are a pretty important element to my day. It's the first thing I make in the morning, when I come home from a brisk walk, and when I'm settling down on the sofa with the dogs for cuddles. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely more throughout the day -- I just don't keep count. The one thing that makes a good cup of tea or coffee better is a cute mug to drink it from and a sweet treat (obviously).

Take Care of your dog, take care of you

Walking a pet(s) daily doesn't just benefit their health. There are many reasons why getting outside with your dog greatly benefits you as well.  This can be a pretty obvious assumption. Taking a long, leisurely walk helps with circulation and energy levels (thanks to those happy endorphins). Whether you take one walk or multiples, your pet isn't the only one wracking up those extra steps. Exercise and fresh air are good for everyone!

Getting outside on your own is said to reduce stress, add a happy dog (or two) to the equation and you may benefit even more! Using walks as an opportunity to bond with your pet can calm you down and focus your mind away from your everyday worries. Focusing on your surroundings and your breathing is key. If you're not into breathing exercises, this can be a very good alternative. But try yoga too! 

Not only can walking your dog clear your mind of everyday stresses, it can also call forth new inspiration. Take in what's around you, notice the little things, and allow yourself to be removed from what normally ties you down or distracts you. You'll be surprised what ideas pop into your head!

I'm lucky enough to live in close proximity to great walking routes surrounded by beautiful countryside. No matter where you are located, you only need two things for a good walk: your dog and yourself. You'd be surprised how many times my surroundings on walks has inspired a photograph, blog post, or just a fantastic memory. Nevermind the weather, we've been caught in rain, wind, snow, covered in mud, and it's always fun! Leave your phone at home and get outside!