What All I Did to Resurrect My Dying Writing Spirit
The writer in me was dying. And I knew I had to save her. For my sanity. For my own sake.
I was experiencing symptoms for quite some time- I was short of words, all distracted while writing, and couldn’t complete any piece with ease.
Words and expressions that once used to flow like a steady stream were now thin air. My creativity was blurring and ideas weren’t sounding right, even in my own head.
Also, the thought of going to work (I am a Content Writer) and craft new engaging pieces made me sick to the stomach. Something was off, big time.
For the first few weeks, I shrugged and brushed such thoughts under the carpet.
I iterated and reiterated in my head- it’s just a bad phase, a rough patch. Kind of a bad writer’s block. A creative slowdown. It will go away.
Only to find it won’t.
That’s when realization kicked in.
I was losing my charm for words and stuff.
I didn’t know what was happening. But it felt appalling.
Writing is all that I know, that I have been doing to earn my living for the past 4 years. Me making the constant clacking sound at my desk gives me good enough reasons to love my being and look forward to the next day. It makes my soul happy and content. It soothes me, satisfies me, pacifies me.
No wonder the thought of not writing was making my head spin.
It was scary. Petrifying. Nightmarish.
I couldn’t let it happen.
I realized I had to change and mend my ways asap. Ditch the gruesome monotony and embrace a new routine to see if it can revive the writer in me (which was at death’s door) again.
So one night, somewhat around half-past twelve, I drafted a mini-framework. Nothing fancy, just pointed the pain points and ways to challenge the tedium of everyday writing.
Here’s what was not working in my favor-
- Repetitiveness- I was writing for my tech firm, so writing all that I know. I simply had to reinvent the wheel and craft marketing copies.
Less research, petty demand of exclusivity, zero zeal.
- No Food for Brain- Due to long office hours and project timelines, I was all away from books and news. Despite knowing the fact that good books/blogs/news stories make a wholesome meal for writers, I was almost fasting.
Less reading, limited knowledge, nothing to spark up my love for words.
- Self-barred- I wasn’t active in collecting experiences. Yep, 26 something me was being a shy-old granny avoiding all social interactions and resting at home in free time.
Less talking, minimum exposure, nominal experiences to instigate a creative write-up.
And here’s what I did to bring me back on track-
I befriended books and blogs, again
Yes, that’s the first step I took. I started a routine of soaking books and reading at least 3 news stories in a day. I got active on Quora again and spent time in consuming good answers with substance or plain entertainment value. I never chose to fix my reading hours- I was flexible and allowed the habit to develop naturally.
This helped me in two ways- first, I was gaining peace, clarity, and ability to articulate good thoughts. Second, stories from all across the globe laced me with new things to talk and read more about.
I stopped multitasking
For all my life, I’ve been a multi-tasker- I would talk on the phone while checking my emails, arrange my cupboard while discussing financial matters with my brother, write two blogs in parallel of different flavors, and so on.
However, I was very much aware of the fact that multitasking is not good for brain health and is deemed to be productivity-killer. It is real trouble for those who are into the business or organizing thoughts and filtering important information- basically someone like me. (You can explore more on multitasking issues in this story from Forbes.)
So for catching up with my ability to focus, I gave up this habit.
Initially, it felt like I am increasing my work hours and pressure. I wanted to roll back to the multi-tasker me who could juggle between assignments, but somehow restrained. And I am delighted that it turned out so good!
In the past three months, I have seen significant improvement in my writing performance. I remember things better and can create copies that are more successful and engaging.
I started exercising
Sounds out of context? Well, it might, but it was my attempt to make and keep my brain active. Somewhere I read that regular exercises help to generate new hippocampal neurons that are associated with learning and memory. I was fascinated with my new finding and decided to hit the gym and shed some sweat, all for good. This also helped me break the shell and discover new people to have new conversations! I have had several interactions with strangers (who are now friends, yay!) and found interesting life stories and philosophies to work on.
Not to forget, gymming has helped me tone my body and feel more confident ;)
Started following industry trends
I was in a secure job with fewer demands- I was in my comfort zone. I wasn’t aware what was buzzing in the content industry and what is now considered outdated. I thought to bridge this gap and started following industry updates to stay informed and find different avenues to groom my skills.
Affirm all things good
I believe in the power of the subconscious mind. I knew it could be leveraged to rewire my brain and start seeing better results in less time. So, before hitting the sack, I would tell myself-
I am getting better and better at writing.
My work creates the desired impact and I am able to generate copies that are valuable for businesses and readers.
I am able to blend simplicity, elegance, clarity, and conciseness to draft a highly acclaimed piece.
And so on.
It works for me by stirring good beliefs and positivity.
I started writing more
The last thing which has helped me the most is that I’ve started writing more. I write small reminders, Instagram posts, notes to myself, personal diary and more to bring my writing spirit back.
Honestly, it was difficult in the initial phase. I struggled much to find what to write, as nothing seemed interesting. But soon things progressed and I am glad they did.
So, this is how I rolled back to being the writer I was and would love to be in years to come. It took me somewhere around 3 months to bring myself back on the track. I simply took cues and learned what the writer in me wants; I started aligning with the needs and made good shit happen.
Also, during this span of 90 days, I mustered the courage to resign from my well-paying but less-satisfying job and find a work that will give me ample opportunities to play with content materials of different genres. Things are great, and now I can say with much pride that the dormant writer in me is wide awake- so stay tuned for more posts!