This is the main shelf in my home office as of today. Hard to believe it is actually cleaned up slightly. It has a ways to go yet before I am completely happy with it. There are lots of collectibles, pics and other things wedged in among the tapes and notebooks.
It is easy to lose myself in here for hours on end. It is easy to lose myself in whatever I might be working on. Whether it is something on the computer screen or trying to decipher my occasionally questionable handwriting in order to figure out an old idea. It is way too easy and a ton of fun to get lost.
I often need to remind myself to be disciplined in what I do. If I keep pushing through and keep writing, then the possibility of Writer’s Block remains non-existent. At some point in the last few years, I decided to just keep at it.
To keep working. To keep writing. As one keeps working, one keeps generating. You may be sitting at the screen or starting at the page and wanting to work but nothing is there. No inspiration. No spark. I get that. I understand. It can be difficult. Those moments of frustration are exercises on sanity maintenance. It took years of disciplined practice for me to decide to keep going. In a short span of seconds, I can now easily have something written. Even the stuff that might not make sense right away, could make sense down the road.
I have found writing to be more than something related to creating and preserving an identity. It has become a great release. It has become a form of very intensive therapy. My therapy sessions are mostly spent in this home office. I prefer the solitude of this space. Occasionally, there are instances where I will spend a few minutes somewhere like a quiet cafe (hard to find) with a notebook and pen. If for some reason I am missing the notebook and pen, then consider your smartphone. If you are a writer with an iPhone, consider enabling the dictation function and speak your thought out onto a note. Fix it up and edit it later. This eliminates any excuse for forgetting to have something to write with. I think I still prefer having something written out though.
Another way I have managed to lose myself lately is on this novel script that I keep working away at. It was an older idea that was shelved then came back to life magnificently. It has been easy to add a few hundred words every few days to this. I have been absolutely lost in the conversations and conflicts between characters. Crafting the words and making everything sound good if I were to read it out loud. Losing myself in the scenery has been equally therapeutic. The story is set between two small towns in Atlantic Canada that I know very well. So part of the exercise in writing this has been to combine the backgrounds of both towns and make them stand out on their own.
No matter what you are working on, if you get lost in transposing your thoughts to written word, you can actually find yourself. You can feel freer. A bit better about who you are. A bit better about knowing that the work is worth it. If you are staring at an empty page, look around. Find something close by and write about it. See where it goes.
Lose yourself, then find yourself.
Originally published on Dann Alexander
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