Writing is a gift. A gift that you constantly have to work on once you open it. It takes work, hard work, but it is so very worth it. As much as I love and enjoy writing I struggle with it. In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, I will tell you a little bit about my struggle. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Depression. Fun, right?! I have come a long way but there are many days that I simply don't want to write because I have no idea where to start. For whatever reason, I wake up sad and stay sad the entire day. The worst days are when I become sad out of nowhere. The best thing I can do for myself is to write because it's healing but I find myself either twirling my pen between my fingers or mindlessly tapping the keys on my laptop because I don't know where to start. I'm a writer. I have ink running through my veins and when I bleed on the pages it tells a story. It tells my story. Getting started for many people is Le Struggle, here are my 3 best ways to help with that.
1. Mindlessly write - Don't mindlessly play with the pen or the keyboard but do write that way. At least, to begin. When you write without thinking you subconsciously pour your thoughts out. This is a great way to start because it requires you to relax and not think about what you're writing. Thinking too much, more than likely, is what got you to the place of not writing in the first place. You can unknowingly think yourself right out of writing. Mindlessly writing is a mini way to heal because it creates room in your brain so that you can think clearly. We deal with so much on any given day and we're constantly in need of a purge. The moment we walk away from something we're working on is the moment our brains begin to collect everything that is going on around us. I have been writing forever and I still have to do this at least once a week. Sometimes, what I wrote makes sense and I can build from it. Other times, it's a bunch of madness that's all over the place. That's okay too because I can pull pieces from it and create masterpieces.
2. Embrace the topic - Most of the time I have a lot on mind. There is always something going on, good or bad, that is distracting me from becoming focused enough to write. Always something. During these moments, I take the time to really think about some of those things. I do a basic assessment of my feelings. Then I write down what I think is contributing to those feelings. For example, if I am sad then I write about sadness. Sometimes, I'll write about specific events. Other times, I am simply writing about the emotion. Either way, I'm writing. Eventually, it will make sense. This is just a starting point. According to Shonda Rimes, writing is like running to catch a train. The topic is the train. The more you write the more momentum you build to catch the train. You are going to miss it a few times. Actually, you are going to miss the train many times. But one day you WILL catch it and it ride it until it runs out of gas. Then, you'll start over.
3. Read something someone else wrote - Inspiration is such a beautiful gift and it is everywhere. When I don't know where to start, I read short things that other people have wrote. Creativity is contagious and when you allow yourself to appreciate someone else's gift your gift will flow. It's like magic. I'm a unicorn so don't debate me, magic exist. I look at it like this: When I publicly write, I write for you. My gift calls out to your gift with every word. You hear it's call because, as you read, you're thinking of different things that you can write. Don't lose that. Don't allow the thoughts to come to you and then leave you. Pull them in and be inspired. You can do what I do. You can do what they do. Every piece of writing by someone else is just a reminder of what you are capable of. Just like us, you are a writer.