Don’t take this personally, but I really didn’t want to write this blog post.

I’ve been putting it off for ages. First, I ignored the task on last week’s to-do list and let it spill over into this week’s. Now it’s a few days before it’s due to be pubilshed and I’m still procrastinating. Before turning my laptop on, I decided to listen to a podcast, apply a full face of makeup and record a series of chatty Instagram Stories complete with captions.

The truth is, writing is hard right now. Not just this blog post – everything. Whether it’s for me or a client, every sentence and every paragraph is an enormous effort. Words are not flowing from my fingertips and copy that usually takes no time at all requires hours, even days, at my desk.

Although it’s frustrating and sometimes alarming {given I do this for a living}, it’s hardly surprising. We’re one year into a global pandemic and I am exhausted. My ability to concentrate is practically non-existent.

And yet, here you are, reading this blog post! In the last two weeks, I’ve submitted multiple pieces of client work including a big project I started back in February. Altogether, this equates to roughly 12000 words. Somehow, against the odds, the work is getting done. I am writing.

How to Write When You Feel Like You Can’t

When it was just a hobby, I needed everything to be ~perfect~ before sitting down to write. I needed to be ‘in the right mood’. Now writing is my livelihood, I have to be much more disciplined. If I only wrote when I felt like it, I wouldn’t have much of a business. Here are some of the strategies I’ve developed for tackling creative blocks and overcoming writing resistance…

  • Just Try

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but it really does work. Most of the time, if I can force myself to sit at my desk and open my laptop, I’ll end up writing more than if I hadn’t tried at all. Even if my children are in and out every five minutes and I only manage an hour or two before I have to fix the next snack or break up another fight.

  • Create the Right Atmosphere, but Don’t Get Too Hung Up on It

In an ideal world, I’d only ever sit down to write in a tidy office with my favourite Spotify play list for company. The sun would be shining, the house would be empty and I’d be able to give work my full attention for as long as I felt like it. This wasn’t my reality pre-pandemic, let alone while we were in the midst of home schooling. Rather than creating an elaborate writing ritual, try picking one or two things to help you find your flow – small details that tell your brain it’s time to write like lighting a candle or using your favourite notebook.

  • Get Rid of the Blank Page

Blank pages are intimidating. They remind you of everything you haven’t written yet and how much work you have left to do. Brain dump ideas, make rough notes, create a loose structure or type out what you’re trying to achieve with whatever it is you’re writing. Having something, anything, on the page always seems to help.

  • Skip to the End or Write Something Else

When I’m struggling to start, I’ll often jump to the middle or the end of what I’m supposed to be writing. Sometimes I’ll open another document and write something else entirely. Both tactics seem to kickstart my brain so the words start flowing.

  • Know that Some Days Just Aren’t for Writing and that’s OK

I’ve had more days like this in the last twelve months than ever before. It is what it is. Beating myself up doesn’t make the words come any faster. If you really can’t write, do some admin instead or step away from work completely. I promise you won’t feel like this forever. The words will come, they always do.

  • Phew. For a blog post I thought I couldn’t write, this turned out to be a long one. Thanks for reading.

Love Audrey xxx

P.S. A version of this post originally appeared in Letters From Love Audrey, my monthly newsletter filled with creative inspiration for your business. If you’ve enjoyed reading this and would like more of the same direct to your inbox, you can sign-up here.

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