The Magic of "Stuck Places"

Hi everyone! I know it's been a while since I've blogged. There's a reason for that. Although my work with my beloved clients is going exceptionally well, personally, I've been in a stuck place. 

What does a stuck place look like for a full-time writer/editor? Well, this one looked pretty much like stuck-ness does for any creative person. I struggled with a lack of energy for my personal projects. I felt tired, unfocused—and, quite frankly, disinterested in anything to do with my personal creativity. 

For me, writer's block and stuck places happen when I'm not taking proper care of myself. When I'm not sleeping properly, not exercising and taking care of my body, or not giving myself space away from my desk to recharge, I feel tired, burned out, and restricted—and this translates to feeling creatively mired. I then try to push through the exhaustion (because that's the hard-headed Type A person that I am), and end up burning myself out even more. Taking a break becomes a necessity, not a choice, and everything gets put on hold. 

Feeling stuck in the mud?

Feeling stuck in the mud?

I realize that this is a choice. I could choose to better manage my energy, take breaks, take care of myself, and avoid the roller coaster ride—and right now, I'm working on exactly that. It's not easy. All my life, I've been taught to value hard word above all else; when I'm not pushing myself, I feel like I'm wasting time. Paradoxically, this applies perhaps most of all to my creative projects. 

However, in addition to highlighting the need for me to practice balance and self care, this most recent retreat has actually illuminated for me the value of stuck places. 

Yes, writer's block and stuck places have value. These quagmires force us to slow down, and really look at where and how we are spending our precious creative energies. 

If you're anything like me, you like to have your fingers in a lot of pots at once. If I only have one project going, I feel bored and under-stimulated. This leads me to take on multiple tasks at once, and sometimes spread my energy too thin. Why conceptualize and design one course when I can tackle three? Why work on one book idea when I have four great ones hanging out in my head?  (Yes, I know. It's exhausting just thinking about it!) 

When I'm forced to slow down, I am also forced to acknowledge that not every great idea is a great idea right now. Because my energy no longer feels limitless, I must decide where best to utilize it—or risk chucking everything in frustration. But while letting go of superfluous projects might (temporarily) feel like failure to launch, it is in fact a necessary housekeeping exercise. When my creative temple is free of clutter and distractions, I can focus more effectively and finish projects with more ease.  

When we don't choose to pause and reflect, our wondrous Universe creates those opportunities for us. Being pressed into stillness this month was challenging for me, but I have emerged with a clearer idea of what I really want out of my creativity, my business, and my life at large. 

So, next time you hit a wall, get your creative feet stuck in the mud, or feel like you simply don't have the energy to keep going, know that this isn't a failure, nor is it the end of the road; it's a divine wink and nudge to get you back on track and looking in the right direction. 

Happy writing, HeartWriters!