I’ve done this enough now that when the invite shows up and my initial panic of I DON’T HAVE AN IDEA sets in, I know to just give it a moment.
Take a step back.
Let the feeling happen.
Okay, good. Have you had your moment? Are you done panicking? Feel better now? Let’s….
- play some new music
- play some old music you haven’t listened to in a decade or so
- take a bath
- go for a walk
- bake a tea cake
- go for a swim
- go for a massage (after being well rested — falling asleep on the massage table doesn’t help)
- catch up on all the sleep
- lightly skim the last story and the notes we made last time when we staggered over the finish line
- read someone else’s stories
- play with the kids
- do anything and everything to exit the routine and shake up our brain
But most importantly: remember this is a story, not the end of the world. Have a cup of tea. Let it churn.
Now: throw some words on a page. Stop judging. Just throw them on the page. NO NOT THOSE WORDS. Ugh. Not those words either. AND DEFINITELY NOT — wait.
Aaaaaand there it is. The seed of an idea. Almost certainly not the final form — it’s just never that easy with my brain — but it’s got potential.
I could be talking about a story. I could be talking about building a client’s web application. I could be talking about having a baby or planning a garden or planning an itinerary overseas. Creating things isn’t easy, iteration is part of the process, nothing is set in stone.
Take a deep breath.
Have your moment.
Trust the process.