I recently heard Anne Lamott’s audio writing workshop and there was one story (and hack) that I particularly liked.
Anne was telling how she doesn’t care much for style and how she usually wears comfy clothes. But that one time she was dating an annoying man (her exact words), who loved short and tight dresses and skirts. So she went shopping with her best friend and tried on a tight lavender dress. Probably unhappy with what she saw in the mirror, Anne asked her best friend: “Do you think it makes me fat?” Her best friend gave the most amazing answer: “Come on Anne, you don’t have that kind of time!”
The answer blew my mind. It blew Annie’s mind as well. In fact, she made it her personal mantra.Continue reading →
One of the best projects in my creative life was the “Soulful Journal”. It is a month long journaling practice, where you dig through your past, present and (imaginary) future, prompted to follow the calling of your soul.
What made this project so powerful for me was the time when I did it. “Soulful Journal” was one of the first creative endeavors I tackled after years of creative inactivity. After being hyper-active, distracted, unhappy, over-worked, running from one party to another, after I lost my job, in one of the worst periods of my life, I started the “Soulful Journal”.
Was my answer absolutely adorable? Nope. Did I write something revolutionary? Not really. I compiled a whole bunch of ideas from many different places into something kinda cool. It resonated with people.
And it got me thinking how often I refuse to write about “trivial”stuff. I want to write about big ideas. I want to create something original, something that the world hasn’t yet seen. Then I do some research and realize that it has all been said and done. Many times. And does the world really need another post on XYZ? It’s all been said, why even bother?
My creative practice on writing 10 ideas daily helped a lot. I created more and published more. I became more creative and I learned more about the readers. I learned how to use old, known ideas and create something worth reading. I also learned that THERE IS a point in writing about ordinary stuff and why the world needs it.
Blank page stares at me again. Or I stare into it. One way or another, no action is happening. I feel blocked.
I wasn’t writing for almost a month. I haven’t exercised my idea muscles as intensely. Now I’m trying to come back to arena. And it’s hard. I get distracted easily. I am confused. I feel enormous resistance. And I don’t know what to write about.
I want something big and cool. I want something spectacular. (If I was silent for a month, now I’d better have something big. Which I don’t.) Blank page is still empty. Infinite possibilities behind it. (Most probable possibility is that I’ll check my Facebook once again.)
My question: ‘What should I write about?’ could be the answer. Thus I made this idea list. To help you and me and everyone else get unstuck. To start moving fingers over the keyboard in search of something. Will it be good? Who cares. Beat the Resistance today. That’s what Steven Pressfield taught me.
Next time when you don’t know what to write about, choose one of these 10 things and execute. Don’t judge. Just do it.Continue reading →