How to keep writing – making sense of the mud

Victoria Park frost by Judy Darley

I’ve written articles for mindfulness and creativity magazines about how to stay motivated, and yet this year has been the first where I actually struggled with something like writer’s block myself. Life is a big, unwieldy and yet disproportionately short edifice, and nothing has made me more aware of this than losing my dad last year. My imagination has been narrower and darker than I’ve ever known it, which I think may be hormonal, or a symptom of life.

But, and here’s the sunshine, I’ve continued to write. Not all of it worth showing to anyone,  but an occasional scattering of words on a page or a screen that came from my brain to my fingertips in an order that made some kind of sense, even if not the glowing sensational sense I always secretly hope for.

More importantly, I’ve realised that that’s enough – for now, for this muddy, clarty year. (If you don’t know the word ‘clarty’, ask a northerner. Funnily enough, auto-correct wants to change it to ‘clarity’ which is almost the exact antithesis of the meaning).

I’ve realised that while I’ve been fretting about losing my flow, other things have been happening. I’ve been absorbing and thinking and mulling and above all, reflecting. Sometimes we need to hit pause and simply digest.

So if you’ve hit a similar wall or got stuck in some clarty mud, don’t fret. It’s all part of the process, and, hopefully, will pass.

In the meantime, treat yourself kindly, read widely, think deeply, and when the sun shines, walk out into it. Maybe some of that glow will rub off on you and your writing.