Why You Stare at a Blank Screen Every Time You Try to Write About Yourself & What to do About it
Do you know what zaps your creative spark & inspiration faster than a video chat drains the life of my smartphone battery?
Think about it, do you ever feel MORE creative when you're obsessively worrying about a problem?
Do you ever get a hit of inspiration when the crazy "what if" voice is running laps in your brain trying to figure out ALL THE SCENARIOS??
And I think this is what happens to so many entrepreneurs when they sit down to write for their website or blog.
First, they start to wonder if they're "doing it right". Have I crafted the best-ever-keep-reading headline? Did I remember my SEO keywords? Do I have a compelling hook? What about that call-to-action, is it good enough?
Then they add on the "but how does it sound, though?" layer of hesitations & second-guessing. That sounds something like this...do these words sound & feel like me? But you know, the BEST version of me not the just-schlepped-out-of-bed version. Do I sound professional enough to be taken seriously? But not like a corporate robot because who the hell wants to work with a corporate robot?
And then they add on the pressure to get the reader to actually DO SOMETHING. AKA will this page actually convert? Or was this all a big waste of words, digital space, time, energy & existential angst?
It's really not surprising at all that so many of us (yes, I've had these moments too) end up staring hopelessly at a blank screen wondering how the hell am I ever going to write about what I dooooo??
Even though we're madly in love with our work!
So, you need to let go of, divorce and in no uncertain terms tell your anxiety, worry & stress to f*ck the hell off. Otherwise, your creativity will remain stuck, bubbling beneath your anxiety.
How do you do that?
1. Get someone to do it for you
Seriously sometimes it can be liberating & not nearly as terrifying as you're imagining to hand it over to a pro & just take a deep breath knowing that it's going to get done. If creative input is super important to you (& it would be if it were me) then look for someone who has rounds of edits built-in & enjoys working in a collaborative atmosphere.
2. Get out pen + paper
I'm not sure why but ALL my first drafts for everything (even my book) happened on paper first. There's something about that impatiently blinking cursor that turns my brain to mush.
3. Get out of your head!
Go do something that gets you out of your head & into the present moment. Something that grounds you & interrupts that train of thought that is stuck circling around your head.
- take a bath
- crank your favourite playlist & dance
- your favourite work out
- cook something delicious
- go make art
- go make love
- play with your kids
4. Break it down into small steps
Even if it's just one page. You don't have to think about everything you have to accomplish all at once. Take it one step at a time. Which brings me to....you don't have to nail all your goals in the first draft. First drafts are notoriously horrible. It isn't just you. It happens to everyone. If the first draft doesn't sound like you but says what you need it to that's okay. You can go back & add in your personality. If it sounds like you but rambles for several paragraphs that's okay too, you can cut that out. Get ideas on paper. Give yourself somewhere to start. Something to refine & polish & work with. If you try to get it perfect the first time, you'll never start.
5. Reverse Engineer It
I'm a big fan of reverse engineering everything. So begin with the end in mind. Whatever you're writing ask yourself 1) what do you want the reader to DO when they're finished reading? What action do you want them to take? 2) How do you want them to feel?
Those are good basic guidelines to keep in mind from beginning to end.
6. Create a Writing/Working Space You Love
A space that inspires you. When I write I love to have my little rock fountain going, a candle lit, a flower on my desk. Sometimes I love to have Spotify tunes & sometimes I prefer silence. I buy myself the pens I love (not the cheapest). I get gorgeous stationary (usually when it goes on sale). I make sure I have a glass of water or chai latté ready & waiting.
Sometimes I switch it up because variety is great for your creativity too. I'll write form the coffee shop. Or from a park (if I know I won't need WiFi for a few hours). Or in the summer I'll take my space & move it outside to my deck.
But mostly that's what it looks like for me. It's beautiful & intentional & calming. The space itself helps to reduce the anxiety, worry & noise in my head that comes from being a single parent & solopreneur.
And when you can let the rest all go & be fully present that's when you can experience the magic of inspiration & flow.