Practice the Process When You Can’t Write

You’re lost. You feel drained. You want to do something, but it seems like there’s a block. For some reason, you can’t. You can’t write. You can’t speak. You can barely think. You have no control over moving forward. There’s no momentum because there’s no movement.

Chances are you’re focusing on the wrong thing. You have your goal in mind. Your eye is on the prize. You’re more concerned with the end result. You’re not enjoying the process. This occurs for me if I’m not careful. If I take myself too seriously, I set an expectation for myself and begin to lose the enjoyment in what I’m doing. I concern myself with building a monument rather than laying a brick. The result is stagnation. Instead of laying bricks, I find something else to do and the monument I wanted to create is no closer to being complete.

My remedy is simple. Start. Start somewhere. In fact, this very post was me just starring at a screen, waiting for inspiration. I have on my calendar scheduled to write a blog post each morning. I’m supposed to sit at my computer for 30 minutes each morning from 8:30-9am and write. My goal is to build a habit. Once I have the habit, I’m driving traffic to my website, leading by example, wherein turn, my team members are also doing the same, writing every day. And if I write every day, maybe I’ll be able to pump out 1 or 2 decent posts per week. But I haven’t been sitting down to write. I’ve been dreading it, finding anything else to do other than put words to paper. But when you start, you commit.

The next step is to enjoy the process. Just let it flow. Type or write about anything. It doesn’t matter. I find it easiest to write about why I can’t write when I can’t write. The purpose is the process, not the goal. So as long as you’re still writing, you’re making progress via the process. You’re connecting your mind to your hands.

Get comfortable, knowing that it’s not going to be magical writing, don’t expect spell-binding words to flow from your fingertips. That’s too much pressure. Expect words to flow. That’s it. They don’t even have to make sense. Just get the words out. Don’t worry about anything else. They can be completely off-topic, tangent-oriented, senseless words, barely if at all, strung together—just do it.

What happens is organic. Logic tells you that everything that’s coming out is a waste of your time. Why? I won’t pretend to know or understand and since I’m writing this because I didn’t feel like writing, I’m not going to look it up. But it’s my belief that we’re programmed to want to make sense. Your subconscious will take over and begin making coherent thoughts, pumping ideas into your mind that you’ll add to your writing. They could be the most minute dots, speckled throughout your writing with your short 30-minute window or however long you want to take.

What’s the use?

Well, there are two ways to look at this:

1. You benefit by writing. In the process, you have to learn to enjoy it. So regardless of anything else, as long as you’ve written something, you’re getting better and getting closer. It’s all about practice. The more you practice, the better you get.

2. Go back over your writing days or even weeks later. Save it. No one’s going to read it unless you want them to. It may be an incoherent mess of words. But if you look closely, you’ll be able to see the dots where your subconscious took over during the process and began to make sense. In fact, I wrote this post in 2015 and it sat in my Evernote for 6 years before I published it.

So, to sum this up, it’s all about the process. It’s all just practice. So just start writing. It’ll come together. And then, keep writing. 😉

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