Every Sunday I sit down at my desk with a cup of hot tea, full of motivation to put those words on a blank page, filling it with my imagination and ideas, bringing it to life. I declared Sunday as my writing day since here in Germany everything is closed and you are basically chained to your flat. Almost all the time I really look forward to that specific time. Me holding a cup of tea, thinking about the story I want to tell. It is me time. Just myself and my blank page.
I love writing. Since I was a kid I always wanted to tell stories, write them down and read them to everyone I knew. Letters, postcards,… you name it. So keeping up my motivation is almost never an issue. But every now and then I am holding my cup of tea and am staring at the screen and with an empty brain. No story seems to be finding its way into my head, no imagination. Nothing.
It was a rainy day this particular Sunday. For me the perfect atmosphere to be writing in. It just has this certain vibe for me, kind of melancholic, a little bit dramatic sometimes. Just perfect. But this Sunday I was just staring at this blank page and this annoying little flashing vertical line. You know, this thing telling you where you are on the screen. It was almost mocking me with its flashing rhythm.
“Imagination and inspiration is a tricky thing. Without it, you might as well be the most motivated person on earth, but no sentence will come out of your fingers.”
For me, this kind of situation is especially annoying. Working full time, finding a moment to write is rare. Even though Sunday is my declared writing day, life just gets in the way sometimes. I have a social life too, you know. Writing might be a very lonely activity, but that’s the reason why a social life is so important. And friends tell the best stories to get inspired by. But having the time for writing and then be without any inspiration sucks.
So what should I do in this situation? Just stop writing? Yes, well, that is always an option. But it will get me nowhere. My project will never be finished, no one will ever read my story and I still believe it is a story that needs to be written down and read by masses. (Just kidding, I don’t really believe that my story is that good, but who knows.) Giving up is never an option, especially not in writing. I believe having the urge to give up is just part of writing in general. Suffering always tells good stories.
Last Sunday I turned to Google and asked how you get rid of writer’s block. Yeah, well, several articles popped up. All of them told the same story. But honestly, there are no standard solutions to this particular problem. For some – hopefully, never me – a writer’s block will last forever. I am not saying that last Sunday was a full-on writer’s block, but it was a little one.
After asking Google what to do, without finding a solution to my problem, I turned back to my blank page and that annoying little vertical line. I swear, sometimes I can even hear it laughing loudly. You know, with this diabolic laugh. Only starting writing will make it stop. But I just couldn’t. My mind was blank, nothing was in it.
After just shutting down the computer I turned on the TV and tried to relax a little bit. The world is not in danger because I am not writing, is it? My mind was not really focusing on what was going on in that show I was watching (writing this I still can’t remember what I was watching back then). During this time, the idea of this blog post came along. Describing my pain, my suffering of that stupid blank page. And just because I love everyone who reads my blog so much, (which so far are just a handful of people, but I am so thrilled to have you here) I am telling you what I did that day to overcome that annoying little flashing thingy.
- Starting the day, I always rely on a cup of hot tea. I know, coffee is the poison of choice for writers, but I don’t know, tea gets me through the day better at the moment than any coffee.
- Lying down on my couch with a cozy blanket around my legs always does the trick. The morning is the most important part of my day. If this part goes wrong, well, then we can just forget the rest.
- Even on a Sunday, I sometimes put makeup on. Yes, that might sound ridiculous, especially because I will never leave the flat anyway. But putting on some nice clothes, cozy ones, of course, makes me feel ready for the day. Try it! It will make all the difference.
- The next thing I do is kind of a girly one (if putting on makeup wasn’t girly enough for you). I like to clean my flat, make it nice and pretty. Watering my plants, hoovering and buying flowers that match my rug perfectly will put my mind in a writing mindset. My imagination always works best in a pretty environment. This can be your flat, your favorite coffee shop, library, …
After doing all this last Sunday, my imagination was back. I wrote ten pages and am still quite happy with them. Not bad, heh?
What do you do to get your writing hat on?