As the summer progresses and the realization that I no longer have to prepare for another year of school settles, I find it hard to dive back into the habit of writing. Whether it be for fun, for a project, or a blog post, I find myself resisting the act of sitting down to get words onto a page. At first, I thought it was just exhaustion. I’ve spent the last 2 and a half years consistently writing for a class and for other projects that I thought I was a little burnt out. So I took some time to just read and to consume other forms of media.
Then recently, I realized I was not feeling at all creative when I sat down to write something while I was at work. Of course, it doesn’t help that I am working on changing the story I’ve always told myself, “I can’t write a draft on the computer, it has to be on paper first.” But I’ve also just felt like I didn’t have anything to say. That has been the strangest feeling, especially as a writer who always has a lot to say.
Finding the Road Block
I knew I wanted to write this post before I sat down to write it. The idea popped into my head and I followed that spark because it just so happens that I had roadblocks in my life. But when it came time to write, I was at a loss. I could not figure out what my roadblock was. Even though I knew I had some just a few days ago.
So in preparation, I asked myself, “What are my roadblocks?” Nothing. Then I asked, “What are my values?” I started a list of the things that I find most important to me: health and wellness, family, faith and spirituality, creativity- wait, there it is! I stopped immediately because that was the center of why I was feeling stuck just a few days ago. And so here we are, writing about finding the roadblock.
Why is it There?
I haven’t given myself much time to think about it since starting this post, but the why seems so distant. Thinking back to this week, I allowed myself to get distracted by other things like social media, work (which is not so bad), and watching Netflix or Hulu. I know this habit of pushing things off until the last minute comes when I really don’t feel like doing anything. Sure I was writing blog posts, but I wasn’t doing any creative writing. I would open a project and then close it within a few minutes because I was too uninspired to work on it. Then I kept telling myself I was uninspired and allowed that feeling to seep into my writing habit.
It’s crazy to think that the things we say or think have so much power as to make us stop doing something we love. Finding the roadblock and figuring out why we have it is a battle that most people won’t go through until life demands it from them. But when it’s something that is so important to you, we have no choice but to face it head-on.
How to Push Past
If I’m being honest, I’m writing this post in advance to whenever I am posting it. Not so that I can be on top of any schedule or to just get it done, but because I am encouraging (did you notice how I didn’t say forcing) myself to discover a new way to write the posts. For me personally, in the case of writing, I find that creating a loose structure helps guide me along. So I decided to have a few things set before even writing the article like the title, the why behind the article, and a few subheaders. Even still I am free to write whatever I want, I just have to keep my why in mind.
The next thing I encourage myself to do is to keep going. A lot of self-help/ personal development books encourage getting into the flow or zone of whatever work you are doing. And if you’ve ever been in the sweet spot, they aren’t wrong. Getting to the place where a project or task becomes something that is your entire focus helps you keep going. It keeps your brain active and ready to continue to do the work. Right now, I am getting to the zone. I feel much better than I did when I was writing the previous article and I feel inclined to write another article.
What We Resist, Persists
There are always going to be roadblocks to doing the things you love or hate or feel indifferent towards. But it’s our responsibility to push past them so that we can continue to produce a level of work that we feel good about. I’m not saying that our productivity determines our value, but it sure does serves as a boost at the end of the day when you’re reflecting on the things you’ve accomplished.
When we push up against resistance, we challenge our minds and bodies to level up. Ask any gym bro about the days that he spends sore after pushing himself to lift more weight or add more repetitions, why he does it at all and he’ll say for the gains. Just kidding; He’ll say that it helps him be stronger and that this is the only way to develop the muscle he wants to see in the future. It’s the same thing when it comes to mental resistance. We may feel uninspired or unmotivated, but it’s our mind that is giving up on the challenge. Don’t let it.