By Milli Thornton
In a post called Words for the Picking on the wordsxo blog, Julia Munroe Martin was pondering blueberries and writer’s block. At the end of the post, she asked
How is your writing going? Are your words there for the picking or do you sometimes feel barren of words?
Having used my own methods to cure my once-horrible fear of writing, I don’t suffer from writer’s block very often these days. At first I didn’t think I could relate to the question, but then I remembered a writer’s block incident from that very morning, while I was journaling.
My morning coffee and journaling time is precious to me and I look forward to it greatly, but this particular morning I was drawing a blank re: what to journal about. I decided to quickly think up some kind of technique to jump-start me and just do it. I elected to write about my day of balance the day before, where for once I had not allowed excesses of any kind (to-do list, email, obsessions, distractions, stress) to affect my day.
Meanwhile, a small inner voice that was easy to ignore had already suggested something else. But it seemed too crazy or open-ended so I dismissed it and titled my new page, “More Balance.”
It was nice reflecting on what I’d done to successfully pull off a day of rare balance . . . but after one page of journaling I was done. It was a neatly-contained topic that didn’t spark anything or set me off in another direction.
I thought about that whisper in my mind and acknowledged how I’d ignored it. I was nervous that trying it would lead me nowhere—but I was already nowhere, so what did I have to lose?
I ended up with five pages of journaling! But it wasn’t about the page count; it was about getting lost in what I was writing. Having time go by unnoticed. The last two-thirds of my neglected cappuccino went cold.
The self-guidance I got was unexpected, fresh and invigorating. It helped cement an idea I’d been developing and it gave me loads more material to draw from—material I had previously ruled out under other circumstances, but now I saw the goldmine in it.
As I had commented on Julia’s blog post: “Acknowledging my intuition and acting on it was the key.”
Are you adept at using your intuition when you write? Do you think intuition is different from imagination?
Milli Thornton is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She is owner of Unleash Your Writing! and the Fear of Writing Online Course, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli also blogs at Screenwriting in the Boonies and Milliver’s Travels and coaches writers at Writer’s Muse.