I would first like to thank Paranormalists for having me on to guest blog. I am excited to write about something near and dear to my heart: (spiritual/magical) author advice!
In the “real world” I’m a writer’s coach and I help people self-publish and market their books so I have a great appreciation for bloggers who make room for us authors to share about our books and writing practices. So, thanks!
While I was writing my latest book, Midnight Pages: A Mystical Workbook for Writers, Insomniacs and Night Owls I had the remarkable experience of completing it without a long stretch of feeling “blocked.” I bet that’s a trick that writers will be curious about.
This is actually the second book I have finished in ashort time without getting stuck for ages and contemplating condemning the project to the cauldron fire. Here are some tips for getting unstuck and unblocked.
First get out of the way
Writer’s block and feeling stuck when you look at the blank page are a “freeze” reaction. The simplest explanation is we’re scared of something.
It’s not we can’t think of anything to write or the words won’t come. It’s that our nervous system is saying YOU’RE NOT SAFE! We are evolutionarily conditioned to fight, flee, freeze or fawn in those circumstances. So, you get frozen in a writer’s block of ice.
Why am I afraid to write?
What’s so scary? Is it because we are putting ourselves out there on the page, which means getting seen? Are we afraid we will be judged for our writing (of course we will! So it’s not an unfounded fear!)
Whatever freezes you, here’s what you can do to get writing again:
1. Remember that the stakes are low. Nobody is reading anything if you don’t want them to. Let there be no stakes at all. Lower your expectations. Do this by deleting whatever you write in your next session. Ouch. But it works and whatever you let go of, trust me, there’s more where that came from.
You are a co-creator with the Universe. You can create entire worlds if you let yourself. But not today. Today just type, then delete. Trust that there’s always more to come.
And the next time your computer goes black after you’ve been writing for two days without saving your work, say “Thank you.” That’s the Universe’s way of deleting and telling you, “nice try, start over.”
2. Bypass the ego by letting your creativity, your inner wisdom, your Spirit Guide, avatar, or your Higher Self write through you. Imagine shifting about six inches off to the right of your computer keyboard and let your muse slip into your seat. Then, ask for help.
It’s really obvious but how often do we remember to consult our guides, guardians, ancestors and angels? Not often enough do we say, “Help me!” Sit and get still. Ask for help, then, type as fast as you can, even if you start by repeating a single sentence over and over.
In this practice you are channeling from everywhere but the brain. Use your gut, your intuition, imagination, spiritual guidance -- and leave your brain and its judgement out of the whole process. That spiritual part of you, the soul, heart, inner wisdom, higher self is ready to help if you can get out of the way. Where do you think your inspired book idea came from in the first place?
3. Practice Griffonage. This is something I created based on free-writing where you write without censoring or stopping yourself for a set period of time or number of pages. Griffonage means “illegible scrawl” so the point here is not to use English.
Whatever comes is fine. If you can’t read it, even better. Eventually that illegible scrawl may become something more or might just prime the pump for your writing practice that day.
Go to War Against Resistance?
You know that writer’s block, feeling stuck and the Blank Page Syndrome are all forms of resistance. Last year I got a book on my birthday about how to fight Resistance. (It even got a capital “R”)! My writing class laughed when I held it up to show them. They know my philosophy.
Resistance isn’t the enemy, it’s the portal.
So, when it hurts or is hard, under that is where the good stuff is! Happy Writing…
An incantation for you:
I am operating under auspicious circumstances where magic flows, words come easily and actions of the past bear amazing fruit. Every decision I make is percussive and reverberates in wealth, rewards, benefits, blessings, boons, joy, bliss, creativity, success and unexpected ahas. And so it is!
WRITING PROMPT From Midnight Pages:
Close your eyes. What do you hear, smell, taste? What do you sense at an energetic or intuitive level? Spend some real time. Find at least twenty-five things. When it gets hard to add to the list is when it gets interesting…”
Vigilantia: lying awake, sleepless, vigilance. The silence and stillness of midnight might feel suffocating, dense, and thick—heavy with foreboding. It might have you lying in bed, heart pounding, afraid of the dark.
Under the cloak of night, your hearing is heightened. Sounds startle you awake as you drowse. Your mind can ramp up: haunting memories, recriminations, regrets, and stuck thoughts keep you from your rest. Some “insights come up as well and sensations: the surge of adrenaline, pricklings on your neck. You might feel the weight of the dark bearing down on you or you notice movement in the shadows. Maybe you have the sense you’re being watched. Something lurks in the dark that’s imperceptible during the day. You might feel like you are not alone, and that subtle presence over your shoulder seems familiar. You wonder if it’s been there before, maybe even always. During the day, with music blaring and people talking, you just don’t perceive it. Ask what message all this has in store for you. Don’t reject what you hear. Don’t dismiss. Allow.
Night belongs to the spirits. –Proverb