Has this ever happened to you? One day, you’re doing your thing—whatever that thing may be—you know, taking care of business, tending to the daily details of your so-called life. It’s a breeze, a walk in the park, a nice, comfortable routine that you enjoy. Sure, it can be mundane, at times, a bit of the same old/same old, but it’s a smooth, effortless ride. You’re getting stuff done. You’re productive. Happy. Living la dolce vida (and maybe even la vida loca, for you Ricky Martin fans out there). And then, out of nowhere, out of the blue, it all ends. Stops. Ceases to not only be fun, but to be at all. You are suddenly stuck. In a rut.
This sensation can apply to just about any situation in anyone’s life. As a writer, the first thing that comes to mind is: Writer’s Block. I can hear the moans and screams from my fellow writer’s out there—no, no, not that! Not writer’s block! Do not go there!
Okay, I won’t, not just yet. Instead, how about I go here: constipation.
Now we’re talking about some serious blockage.
Isn’t that a bit of a stretch, Mike? From writer’s block to constipation?
Not really. Here’s why: to avoid any kid of blockage in your life (let’s call this Life Blockage), you need to follow a few simple tips—plan ahead, practice good, healthy routines, balance your triad—mind, body, and spirit, and work hard at it. Every day.
Life blockage isn’t limited to writer’s block or your ability or inability to regulate your bowels. It can challenge your relationships or careers, appear as a mid-life crisis, and mess with your diet and health; just about anything in your life. The good news: working on these tips can help you manage most of what life, and life blockage, sends your way.
DO IT EVERY DAY
It is said that practice makes perfect. While seeking perfection can be a practice in futility, practicing is a good thing. To get better at anything, you need to work at it. Repetition is an important key on the road to improvement, but mistakes are bound to happen—another good thing. Making mistakes is encouraged, as long as you learn from them.
Let’s go back and take a look at writing again. I strongly suggest you write every day. Easy, right, you’re a writer. But it is easier said than done—at least for me it is. I mean, who has anything relevant to say every day? Not a lot of people. But you still need to write, all the time, if your desire is to become a good writer, and to improve your writing skills. So write. Every day. At times (lots of times) you will write bad prose and you will discard most of what you have toiled hours to create. If you want to write (and those who really want to write, will write—it’s almost an unstoppable compulsion) you will, and, if I may be so bold, you will enjoy the process.
Writing every day will keep the writer’s block away!
Using these methods will help you with most any challenges life tosses your way.
• Work at (_______) every day
• Understand that it is okay, encouraged even, to make mistakes
• Learn from those mistakes
• Work smart
Working smart is managing your time, balancing your tasks, and doing the little things that you learn and pick up along the way. One of the tips I picked up to help me combat the evils of writer’s block was writing every day. And on those days when your creative muse is your best friend, take a moment to jot down all those amazing ideas that seem to be overflowing from your brain. You will be grateful for them a few weeks later when your brain bogs down and is as productive as a wedge of Swiss cheese.
Another tip that is great for writers and writer’s block is to read, all the time, everything you can get your hands on. Diverse data, fiction and non-fiction, books and magazines, every day. READ.
The more you know, the more you can write.
So, what does any of this have to do with, you know, ahh, that other backed up situation you mentioned earlier?
Yup, that’s the one.
Apply the same tips.
• Work at it every day. This means eating the right foods and the right amounts, along with an exercise program
• Make mistakes and learn from them. Discover which foods make your plumbing happy and which ones do not. I can give you a one-word hint—FIBER! Lots of fruits and veggies. And stay away from cheese and processed foods.
• Work smart—see above
When I sat down to write this, I was blocked—just my mind, not anywhere else (if you are, this video will help). My life these days has been filled with more than my share of outside distractions and challenges that have upset my routines and balance, creating a blockage. A life blockage.
Whenever I am faced with these challenges, these life blockages, I always fall back on the common sense methods that have helped me overcome myriad difficulties in the past. Writing down a few of them in this post reminded, and reassured, me that they still are effective. Still work for me.
I hope they work for you too.
Until next time…