Today Gabe is wearing a teal jacket, a grey sweatshirt, khaki pants, brown shoes, and blue sunglasses.
This week I’ve been struggling a lot with motivation. After being out of town for a little while, lounging on the beach, going out to dinner, and just generally taking a *complete* break for a couple of days, I’ve found it really hard to get back into the momentum of my work. Before I left, I was really excited about what I was working on and happy to spend many hours every day writing and editing and fine-tuning and looking for new ways to make the things I did even better.
And I’m still super excited about all the things in the works right now. Like, super excited.
But I found it hard to swing out of bed in the morning and sit down at the computer and really get into what I was doing. My mind wandered, and I couldn’t get into the “flow” of making work.
One of my very favorite pieces of writing ever is on the topic of “flow”. It was written by David Rakoff, an amazing writer, who died last year. I feel so lucky I had the chance to see him speak in San Francisco and even talk to him after the event and get to tell him what an inspiration he was to me.
But this piece he wrote, that really got to me, was on the topic of “making things” and that amazing mindset you get into when you’re creating something, where you lose time and you are completely overtaken by what you’re working on. (The piece is here on Salon and I highly recommend any writers, artists, creators, and actually just anyone click over and read it.)
So anyways, I wasn’t getting into the flow and it was really frustrating. But last night I sat down and just started working. Even though I wasn’t feeling it, I just said “Kate, you’re not allowed to leave this desk until this is done.”
And surprise. By just sitting there and sticking with it and not refreshing Twitter and not queuing up another episode of The West Wing and just making myself write until this thing was done – I got back into the flow.
At first it was terrible. Poorly written and bad to read. But by getting that bad writing out of my system, I blew the cobwebs off my brain and kickstarted that part of me that loves writing. And that piece turned into another which turned into this blog post. Now I feel excited to start again today and just take care of business. Which is my very favorite thing.
Have any of you ever tackled writer’s block? It happens all the time and when it’s happening it feels like it will never end. But if you really want to get through it and go back to doing what you love, sometimes you have just sit there and work. And what you write will be bad. Until it’s not again.