An exercise for when you're stuck
This will be so helpful! I write a blog primarily on Grief & Loss. It always starts out as random, seemingly in-cohesive threads that I am left to wonder how it will ever weave together. And even though I eventually get somewhere, I can see these five words offering a loom for the threads. Thank you✨.
Oh, and love your Substack, Podcast, etc. 🧡
Oh, I like this. Thank you. Exactly the trick I use when I realize I'm mostly writing about how I can't write. I then pause, reset, and imagine I'm talking to someone: "What I'm trying to say is...". Or talking to myself - "I want to write about...etc." It works every time.
Love this so much. I even use this in writing mystery- it helps to clarify what details I want to reveal and which ones I definitely don’t want people to know yet.
I haven’t used it in a bit- thank you for this reminder! It always always helps.
Hey! I wrote exactly this about half an hour ago. I wrote “What do I want to say about .....” every time I needed to write about something, or before I needed to prepare a presentation when I was doing my PhD. I look on it as giving my subconscious a question. It then ‘gets to work’ and helps me write a list of bullet points. Once I have the list I have an outline. I found this (and still do) enormously helpful. I also prefer to write this list out by hand, rather than type it. I’ll type once the list once it is as complete as I can make it. I’d be interested to read of others’ experience regarding handwriting versus typing.
What I'm trying to say..... Is behind my carefully crafted self is a shocking and often loud and bouncy life force who has a mind of her own. Letting her have the mic could be.....well, disastrous...umm...or, unbelievably freeing. And, maybe they're the same, or at least similar things.
You wrote "Sometimes the depth of my emotion surprises me in the moment, and I need to spend some time working out what was behind it all."
I was thinking about this and about Jan's post. In the height of emotion it is impossible to listen, to take in information. Think of a child in the middle of a tantrum, or an angry teenager. They need to get to a place of calm before you can reason with them. In the same way, in the height of an emotion, it is impossible to listen to ourselves, impossible to be open to insights, intuitions and possibilities. Letting emotional feelings of the 'child within' spill out on to a page may help bring you to a place where listening to yourself becomes possible, when you can, once again, write "What do I want to say about .........." and then be awake to, or 'listen' to, your response. As you say, you need to allow yourself "some time working out what was behind it all."
Hi love! I have a friend who’s super excited to read this one but she tried clicking and the paywall was still up- thought you’d want to know.
What I'm trying to say is... The words to frame my substack going forward, for a relaunch. And I'm so stuck! I'm going to try this prompt right now and see where it takes me. Thank you for sharing at exactly the time I needed it. Serendipity! 😊