Ah yes … writing. Something I do enjoy quite a lot, whenever I actually get in front of my keyboard and decide to just write down what comes to mind. It is somewhat of a defragmentation for my brain and there was a time, when I used to do it on a daily basis, just to empty out my head and focus on other things. But remembering the positive effects it had on me, I should maybe start this again, as I am doing it right now….
There is quite a simple tool called Write Or Die, which I have been using in the last years, whenever I just needed to write something down. You can basically choose between different grace periods (the time you are allowed to not write anything before you get ‘punished’ by the tool) and using the KamiKaze mode; being the most efficient for me. (KamiKaze mode starts deleting words when you stop typing.)
Granted – not everything that I write under this pressure turns out to be writers gold, but I definitely cures to ‘Writer’s Block’ that many people encounter; which leads me to the actual point I wanted to talk about: Just doing it.
Of course we all have bad days and there are exceptions to the rule – but doing something for only 5-10 minutes can trigger that spark that you need to end up writing / working all night long because you got into the groove. If we think too hard about what we want to achieve or how we want to make it, we end up planning and worrying but never actually implementing anything. So if you just start writing down ANYTHING that comes to your head for a few minutes, you will inevitably get into the groove of writing / working and break the blockage. There are tons of articles about this exact approach and that’s for a reason – it works well in most situations.
This article sums up the whole idea pretty well: How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the “2-Minute Rule”
by James Clear.
How often did I catch myself reworking many lines of code and even adding whole new components to a game, when I only wanted to comment a few lines of code that I wrote the day before. You can never know when your muse will kiss you, but you can make sure to regularly check in on her and poke her in the eye until she finally agrees to go on a date with you … I think my analogy is falling apart at this point.
I remember reading The Artist’s Way about the process / the idea of just writing a page per day, just after waking up and letting whatever comes to mind flow onto paper. Just for yourself, for no one else to read. The book has much more to offer. The daily writing, was just an important part for me.
Each time after I read and followed the advice in this book, my creativity became more focused and I was in general feeling more productive whenever I was working. I think a big reason for this is the fact, that our heads are filled with worries, tasks, past experiences and that we sometimes have a hard time letting these go. By writing them down to paper, you give them a place outside of your head. Just like writing down all the things you still have to do on a simple list and then referring to the list, instead of constantly trying to remember it. This frees your head up for creative impulses and just more energy in general.
So let’s wrap up this post for today:
- I recommend Write Or Die when you just need to get yourself to write something to escape the ‘Writer’s Block’
- Writing down your thoughts and worries down on paper, will free your head to pursue other things and give you energy
- Doing something for just a few minutes, can bring you into the groove and lead to the needed spark to get going