Getting started

By 22nd February 2021Business, Writing

It’s hard getting started!! We are already heading towards the end of February and I have a 2021 plan to focus on my blog on Monday mornings. So far my plan is like a fairy story. Yesterday was Monday, however I felt tired and I urgently needed to return some manuscript to an author. There wasn’t going to be any blog writing. On the previous Monday I didn’t feel like writing a blog either. Monday’s it seems are not a great day for me to be creative and I realise now that the past two Mondays are typical. So, last week there was no blog. But this week I have more determination and I shifted blog morning to Tuesday. Maybe Tuesdays would be better.

Tuesday ‘blog’ morning came around very quickly! I didn’t know whether I would manage to write or what I would write about. To start, I’d taken my neighbour’s dog for a walk. Most of my creative thoughts happen when I’m out in nature, so walking Leila seemed like a good step. Leila sometimes isn’t keen to go out when the weather is cold and gloomy and she is still tucked up in bed, but this morning she appeared at the door with her lead dragging behind her. That was certainly an upturn and my heart warmed. She was adamant she wanted to turn left this morning instead of the right, which was what I had planned. The left turn walk is a lengthier and more satisfying alternative, which involves walking along the river. As she was so keen today, I didn’t want to disappoint, so left we went. Half an hour later than planned I still had to make up for my infidelity to my own beautiful, but very old dog. I also really needed a coffee and piece of toast. There wasn’t going to be any morning pages or meditating today. All practises I believe help creativity. But then I’d had a lovely walk by the river to compensate, so hopefully I’d be okay. At well past 9:00 am, the precious blog time was evaporating fast; with a clear mind and a full stomach the only thing to do was to start writing.

I sat at my desk. I checked my emails. I ignored them, deciding they could wait. I wondered about scribbling on my pad or writing directly into Word. I opened a blank word document.

Then Bertie pipes up. ‘Shouldn’t you answer your emails and get on with the work you know you’ll get paid for? What’s the point of writing a blog, nobody reads them anyway?’ ‘You’ve spent too long lying in bed; in your head; looking at your phone; walking the dog blah blah blah …’ 

‘Bertie’ is the annoying voice in my head that nags at me, trying to keep me safe. Begone Bertie! Woo-hoo, I started to type.

Writing this blog has reminded me about how hard it can be just to get started on something and some things I can do to help me write on Mondays or even Tuesdays! I hope they help you too.

  • Be kind to yourself, don’t listen to your Bertie.
  • Try and get organised, clear some time in your calendar and fiercely defend it.
  • Make notes on topics you would like to write about as they occur to you, so they are ready for you to turn to when you need inspiration.
  • Nourish yourself. Make sure you are well rested, have had enough food and water.
  • Make space in your brain. Walking is a great way to clear thoughts, as are dumping them on paper through journaling and meditation.

I’d love you to think about what stops you writing or doing anything else you are burning to do. Maybe write a story about it. I’d love to read what emerges.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • I know the feeling! The inner voice. “Eh you! Why aren’t you prioritising paid work? Remember, you have all these emails in your inbox.” I get my best inspiration for my blog Le Mot du Jour during my early morning run. No pen, no paper with me though. So I hope. I hope I will remember these thoughts once I get back home and get swirled into the frantic world of freelancing with two young children. Sometimes the thoughts stick, sometimes they vanish. What remains is trying my best to be consistent with writing.

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