Oh hey, I transferred my blog to a fancier platform. This article is from October 2018.
If it’s writing time, but you don’t have words:
Show up for writing time anyway. Write bullshit and better words will follow.
If it’s not writing time, but you do have words:
Congratulations—it has become writing time. Catch those suckers while you can. It’ll be such a bigger pain in the ass to call them back after they’ve flown.
If it's not writing time, and you do have words, but you absolutely cannot write the writing right now:
Sometimes good ideas arrive at inconvenient times. Fortunately, there are options to preserve and negotiate with inspiration. Record a voice memo. Jot down bullet points. Write in your head. Memorize as you go. A fab way to get through work that’s mindless, but not too dangerous to bear a little distraction. Skip this one if it’s likely to get you fired or mangled in heavy machinery. Also not for bedtime. Take a bathroom break. Bring a notebook. Tell a friend. Pick one who’s sober, has a good memory, and won’t steal your ideas. Ask the words nicely to return during writing hours. You can do this in your head, not out loud. You’re speaking to your own thoughts. Yes, it feels silly. Try it anyway. I find it works as long as I show up for the writing time when next I can. Code the idea into pictures or symbols. Pick a few symbols, easier to memorize than the phrases in the word-cloud floating after you. Repeat them to yourself. Call them back during writing time and use them as prompts. Let the words go. You can’t hang onto everything. You definitely need to sleep. Your best work will come back and haunt you. Passing up ideas is part of the process.
When the word cloud descends, we write.
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