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Is the Pandemic Blocking Your Writing?

Hello, and welcome my fellow creatives. I thought I’d talk a little bit about productivity, writers block, burnout and of course self care. Mostly because that is what’s coming up for me this week.

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We’re five-ish months into this pandemic, finding ourselves in varying stages of Lockdown. Stepping outside the front door, we find ourselves in a very different world. Full of alcohol laced hand-gel, masks and public distancing. Here in Wales, coming out of Lockdown has been painfully slow compared to the rest of the UK, and I’m glad for it. We currently have low case numbers, which is good, considering school starts soon.

While the world has capitulated under the demand of the virus, I’ve kept my head down and worked, worked, worked. It has been my coping mechanism. However, I’m reaching the end of that wave, and burnout is on the horizon. In the past, I’ve charged into the fray, pen scribbling, fingers tapping, eyes blurring as I’ve written to the bitter end. Not helpful!

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This time I’ve taken a pause. A whole week off of writing to procrastinate. To read a little, play mouse trap, watch the finale of Star Wars and prepare for the next phase of my journey. And so I’d like to share some of my good news... I’ve been accepted to begin training as a Transactional Analysis psychotherapist, shifting from being a client into the role of trainee. This next year is going to be full of introspection, growth, and challenges.

Don’t panic fellow writers, I still aspire to be traditionally published, to get an agent, but it would appear a fork in the road has opened up for me. As exciting as this is, I’m also truthfully a little terrified of the unknown. My inner-world is echoing the state of the world at the moment. It’s no wonder my writing flow has faltered.

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It would seem we’re all being asked to sit with the unfamiliar. To tread the line between staying safe, and not allowing our fears to overwhelm us. My life has become Groundhog Day: a never ending treadmill with no destination. And yet everything is constantly changing.

So, while burnout and writers block lurk in the background, I’m taking a break. Refueling, visiting family (at long last), and refilling my empty cup. Productivity can wait a few days. I’ll leave you with a quote that truly resonated with me this week:

For a while I was looking for a person but I didn’t find them and after that I was looking for myself. Now that I have found me I’m back to exploring, which is what I was doing in the first place before I was doing anything else and I think I was supposed to be exploring along.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.
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What are your fears at the moment? And how do you soothing them? We’re all on this crazy journey together, so please share your story with me. You know I love hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by. until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2020.
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Surviving Writer Purgatory

Sometimes life outside of being a writer becomes hectic, and juggling the many demands of life takes its toll. In times like these something has to give, and I’ve already cooked too many oven chips for dinner and stopped walking my dog every day.

While no writer wants to sacrifice their writing time, that precious outlet for their sanity, there comes a time (usually around doing our annual taxes or Christmas) when they simply must take a short break.

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Here’s my four top tips to help you survive writing purgatory.

Stop berating yourself, this is only temporary: By removing the addition stress of unrealistic goals, you’ll actually increase productivity, be better at problem solving and be back on track before you know it. 

Prioritize your responsibilities: Make a list of all that needs to be done and cut out the unessential. Oh how I wish the world were fair, and that my children would understand that writing was my lifeline, unfortunately they insist being fed and having clean clothes.

Don’t stop planning and plotting: Just because you can’t physically find time to write doesn’t mean you won’t get the opportunity to daydream. Driving somewhere? Use that time to develop a secondary character. Painting a room. Figure out you climactic scene. Stuck waiting in the doctor surgery. Gather inspiration by watching how the receptionist deals with patients, or how the toddle runs his mother ragged, and use those details in your manuscript.

Repeat this mantra: I’m only human. No one’s perfect. I’m a writer, even if I don’t write every day. It’s going to okay.

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What do you do when life gets in the way of your writing? I’d love to hear your coping techniques, so please share them with me. 

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2019.

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