Another day arrives, just in time, something like the day before it. An idea struck me as I was walking down the stairs, careful not to trip over my own feet. I rush over to the dinning room table where my overweight laptop sits. I brush off some cobwebs and blow away the dust that surround it.
Then finally, I power up the ancient hardware and open up my word processor.
I’m staring into a blank canvas, the flickering of the cursor taunting me with each flick, “You ain’t got it in ya, Johnny boy.” Scattered behind the prehistoric laptop are two books; Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark and Eat To Live by Joel Fuhrman.
An ocean of collage ruled papers surround the paperbacks. Some neatly stacked upon one another, others balled up in a fit of rage. They had it coming. Somewhere scattered across the battlefield lays a napkin with words that I cannot remember, written on it.
My first thought; It must be important.
This happens often, but I don’t think writers block should get all the blame. Perhaps I should burden some of it. I think it has to do with my brain not fully firing.
That too, happens often. I’m surprised it fires at all.
Make More Movement
“Walking is man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates
Exercise is not only good for your glutes and pecs, it also benefits your brain. It gets the blood flowing. It gets you moving.
Its no wonder why we feel unmotivated at times. We hardly move anymore. Our bodies begin to accept it’s sedentary lifestyle.
So why get up and walk for thirty minutes a day? I mean, you’ve been surviving all year without having to endure the harsh spring weather. Why not stay tucked away in your house, comfortable and content?
A simple answer: you’re more likely to die sooner.
A simple solution: Walk for thirty minutes, four times a week.
So, back to the sea of endless nothing. My eyes shift away from the screen, I look at the walls that surround me. More empty nothingness. I step away from the dinning room table where I do all of my writing, eating, texting, taxes, sleeping, laughing, and crying.
I wipe my tears with a napkin that has the words “Sea monsters are real” scribbled on it in blue ink. My fingers trace the stubble that replaces my mustache, in deep thought; are sea monsters really– real? Too deep, I abandon the thought.
Then I walk over to my pocket sized stationary bike, and ride in place for 10 minutes. I do this often, whenever I find myself stuck in the middle of a draft. It helps.
But Jona, What About Coffee?!
If I’m feeling adventurous I might brew a cup of coffee to stimulate my nervous system. It increases the blood levels of epinephrine, (or adrenaline).
Every time I think of the word adrenaline, an image of Jason Statham comes to mind, beaten, battered, and injecting adrenaline to stay alive.
Some research shows that it can help exercise performance by 11-12%. I need all the dopamine and energy I can get. Motivating myself to wake up and do squats requires a level of ambition that I, unfortunately, do not posses.
I exercise because it keeps me going. Especially if I’m caught in an unforgiving wave of writers block.
When you find yourself in a slump, unable to make the next move, what helps you best?
Let me know in the comments!