It’s only natural to feel unenthusiastic sometimes. Feelings often have something to show us, so it is important to notice what you are experiencing and to allow yourself to hear the wisdom on the other side of the emotion.
When you don’t feel like writing, when you don’t think highly of yourself, that’s the perfect time to freewrite. The choice is either to indulge the sense of failure and block yourself from trying, or give yourself over to a practice that you know will help you more toward what you want.
Freewriting helps you to overcome your self-limits and limiting beliefs. Everyone has them. Everyone, too, believes that their challenges are somehow unique and probably really awful if other people were to see them or know about them. But we all struggle with many of the same things. We are all more alike than we realize.
Everybody has challenges. Everybody. Everybody. Yes, even them. Definitely me. Even you. I’m sorry that you’re not spared. I am happy to bring freewriting to you with a space of liberation around it.
This is something that I am sharing because I know that it helps. It works for everyone.
When you don’t feel like writing, freewrite.
When you don’t think you have anything to work with and nowhere to go, freewrite.
Freewriting approaches writer’s block from underneath, from the sub-basement level. You get to view your block from miles away through a magical periscope. And despite where you feel yourself to be, freewriting shows you a way out. You don’t need to be a different person or change anything about yourself.
Just do the practice. You will feel better because you’re giving that blocked part of yourself some sunlight and fresh air. Even if your freewriting is not usable, you are winning the battle against what Steven Pressfield called “resistance.” You’re practicing. You’re plunking around on your freewriting guitar, listening, feeling the movements. You are less attached to your sense of failure and impossibility than to your love of engaging with the craft. Something increasingly magical is bound to happen any moment.
This is what you do when nothing else works: You pick up your pen and write. Make letters and words. Let yourself go. Let your limiting beliefs go. Offer your blocks to the practice.
You may not feel instantly enthusiastic, but something in you is shining. Even if it seems pitifully insignificant, that light inside you is yours, and it’s vibrant. You have nothing to prove and no one you need to prove it to.
That’s step one. Step one is to pick up the pen and write.
Step two is where the magic begins, but it’s not the hardest part. The hardest part is getting to step one. To go from that place where you feel blocked and where you are choosing to honor something — that’s already a victory.
Step two is where you begin to navigate by asking questions.
Ask questions that direct your focus towards positive qualities, things that you want. If you hunger to solve your problems, then ask questions in a way that can solve your problems. The questions themselves bring a sense of lightness to the whole endeavor because through them you actually wield your creative power.
Ask questions like Who am I? What do I love? What makes me feel good? When do I feel my truth come forward?
Write from that place where you feel driven. Not compelled from behind, but pulled forward with a sense of intrigue. You have started writing and you are OK with letting it all go. You’re doing this as an offering, not because you need to create anything to keep. You believe in yourself. The goal is to move energy and see what is behind your feelings.
Remember, this is freewriting, so nobody sees this, and you do not need to be attached to it. These don’t need to be the right answers. What you’re driving at is a sense of truth. And just like the rest of the cruddy writing that belongs to freewriting practice, you are allowed to make mistakes and let things go when they seem less than authentic, less than accurate.
The point is to get real with where you are. You aren’t going to talk yourself out of a bad state. You’re not talking yourself out of anything — doing that would engage the critical mode, not the creative mode. The creative mode does not talk yourself out of things, or tell you what you should do. It feels its way forward. It flows with vigor. It grows and lets go.
The act of enthusiastic freewriting is a way of engaging the creative mode to navigate your way towards greater vulnerability and integrity.