A few years back, I was texting with a girl I met on Social Media. I don’t know about you, but I am great at texting. My texting skills were working. Bit by bit, I was able to impress the girl. I felt unstoppable. Like a Texting God!
And that is when we decided to meet. And what happened next won’t surprise you.
The moment I met her at Starbucks, all the charm went away. I could only blurt out short replies. It seemed like I had hit a block.
Writers experience this mental block too
‘Writer’s block’ is what they call it. It’s when you experience stress, anxiety… and a feeling of being trapped in an extremely tiny room, with walls squeezing you from all sides.
Writer’s block saps all the creativity out of you, and you are unable to write any words on paper. The clock continues to tick as the publishing deadline inches closer and closer… and yet, nothing is created.
Fortunately, there is a way using which we can get out of this rut.
And that is the way of consumption.
In this article, let’s talk about how consuming opens up much-dreaded writer’s block.
How exactly does ‘consumption’ work
Here’s how it unfolds – You are having a rather unmotivated day when you decide to read a book that has been sitting on your table for four months. And just 2 pages into the book, you are hit with a truck. A metaphorical truck, of course.
A moment of inspiration.
I am not quite sure how this happens. And while I am not sure of the science, I have experienced it quite often to ignore it. This light bulb completely dissolves the mental block.
Ok, not so fast
The insight in itself cannot propel us forward unless we don’t act on it right away. So the question is – How do we process this insight?
It all starts with noting it down. Yes, I can hear you groan. Why the hell do you need to note this insight? You have the memory of an elephant, don’t you?
You have the memory of gold-fish
There have been multiple occasions when I have had a light-bulb moment at night and completely forgotten about it in the morning. And so, trust me on this one. The moment you get a light-bulb moment like this, you could either start expanding that idea immediately or you could make a note of it on your phone or laptop and come back to it later.
Process the light-bulb moment
Find a time to get back to this idea. Set a timer of minimum 25 minutes and start expanding on that idea. Just keep writing on that google doc without taking a pause. The goal here is to rant, rant and rant.
Nope, you don’t need any research. Nope, you don’t need any structure. Nope, you don’t have to take care of typos. All you need to do right now is just write.
Editing comes later
Once the ‘first imperfect draft’ is ready, you can always come back to beautify it. Activities like researching, editing, putting structure, etc. can happen once the first draft is ready.
When and what can you consume?
If we want to create these light-bulb moments consciously, we can choose to devour
- Online Courses,
- Audio-books and
And this consumption can be done every morning before you start you writing process.
It matters what you consume
Actually, it doesn’t. Or does it? For me, Marketing resources always provide these light-bulb moments. But so does a book by Osho. My advice is – Mix and match. Consume resources that are related to your writing and also resources that are unrelated to your writing. Inspiration lies everywhere.
Are you supposed to consume all of them every day?
Of course not. You can pick one of the 4 things I mentioned. On some days, it could be a book, and on others, it could be an online course. See what works for you.
My first meeting with the girl at Starbucks was a complete disaster. Not to worry. Years later, I met a girl. We both fell in love. And you know how I was able to win her over? She loved my blog! Writing came to my rescue again.