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Letting the Words Flow

January 14, 2010 1 comment

I’ve been working hard on my writing business, increasing my productivity and putting myself out there. Yet I found myself encountering a mental haze, that has been draining  my enthusiasm and making writing so much harder! It’s the “blank page syndrome”, that apprehension felt when you have to begin, and all the doubts come flooding back.

Blank Page Syndrome (BPS)

BPS has been hitting hard, and I’ve been trying all of my normal techniques to push past it. Writing anything just to clutter up the screen, picking the easiest writing project on my list to do first, and even —gasp— waking up earlier to keep my nagging editor in bed.

Nothing worked.

So, instead of ignoring my apprehension, it’s time to face it head on. What am I afraid of? What is clogging the word pipes in my brain?

BPS Was Not Due to Writing Issues

As it turns out, my writing fog had nothing to do with writing. After all, I know I can write, and that others will happily pay for my work. I’m comfortable with all my projects, and my business is growing at a nice pace.

Instead, my BPS is due to the other variables in my life, that are wholly unrelated to writing. We’re looking to move within the next month, and my writing needs to cover all of those expenses. (Which it will, but the thought of it is overwhelming all the same.)

My two little angels, who are so happy to have Mommy working at home again, are still rather young to understand that I’m working, and not available for playtime or every other whim they may have. I’m just waiting for the next screaming match to interrupt me!

Also, while I have learned and grown over the past year of freelancing, the lessons I’ve learned have hit hard! (Yes, I have the bumps on my head to prove it!) I’m on the constant lookout for burnout, overextending myself, and pursuing ideas before I have a solid plan in place. Yet at the moment, these are not things for me to be worrying about. I’ve been very careful, and am reaping those rewards!

Convincing Your BPS to Let You Write

So, how am I to address all of these concerns? By putting safety nets in place to convince my BPS that everything is going to be all right. Setting up a framework, a solid structure to my writing conditions that reminds me to quit worrying, and let the writing flow.

I’ve outlined my budget (in great detail!) explaining exactly how much I need to make each day to meet my moving goals. I’ve turned the weight of a looming expense into an enjoyable short-term goal. I also imagine my enjoyment at reaching this goal — as I truly, deeply want to move as soon as I can!

Working with kids can be a little trickier. I’ve considered the times of day when they are the most settled, and am scheduling my writing times to coincide with that. (Mornings. Icky.) I also have the Stay-at-Home Daddy available to address their most pressing concerns when I’m writing, so I don’t need to worry about it.

As for the potential threat of burnout, I listen to myself and my body. If I’m tired, I take a break, get a snack, go do some laundry. (There’s always laundry with two kids!) I breathe, pace myself, and remember that working at home is much better for my health. I also budget so the bills get paid first, and the rest of the writing for the month is gravy. That budget does double duty, so much good in all the figures!

How Do You Combat BPS?

What do you do to relieve Blank Page Syndrome? What issues do you need to address to see your writing flow? Share your stories and your tips!

~Kimberlee

Photo Credit: Tanakawho