Tidbit #2: Change one small thing in your process to get yourself untracked.
Have you ever struggled with something you’re doing and sunk deeper and deeper into the quicksand? Maybe it’s a passage in a story, maybe it’s a project at work, maybe it’s getting your recalcitrant toddler to eat more solid food, maybe it’s figuring out how to get started on a sketch. I’m sure you can come up with your own examples.
Often we feel like we are banging our heads against the wall as we persist doggedly in our process— with increasingly frustrating results.
That happens to me too, as a writer.
As somebody who is very sound-oriented, though, I have found that just changing my music is often enough to get me untracked. For example, today, I needed to change the music I was listening to from dreamy to something more linear. On other days, I need to change it to dreamy or contemplative.
Here’s another example of getting untracked: I often marvel at how my very creative wife is able to move herself out of (rare) power struggles with our daughter by suddenly and unexpectedly making her laugh. In those situations, it’s the introduction of laughter into the process that entirely transforms it.
So, if you’re stuck on something right now, try this: think of one thing you can change in your process.
Let’s call it a game-changer.
Maybe your game changer is changing where you sit in the room as you write. Maybe it’s changing the lighting in your room as you paint. Maybe it’s going to work on your work project in a coffee shop before you go into the office. Maybe it’s making something into a game with your child. Maybe it’s deciding to improvise with what’s left in the refrigerator instead of planning the main course.
Be adventurous and creative in what you come up with. But most of all, have fun with it.
If you already have a game-changer that works, then try this: create some reminders for yourself to utilize it. Alarms on your computer. Post-its on your sketch pad. Pictures on the refrigerator of your improviser inspirations. Tinker to find what works best for you.