Finding yourself afflicted with writer’s block? Feeling uninspired? My advice: try your hand at another hobby.
About a month ago at this time, I was trapped in a maze of overthinking and worrying about every detail of mundane life. I was also spending far too much time on social media. Naturally, this was squashing my creativity at a time when I had already hit a brick wall near the end of my second draft. I felt burnt out and knew I could not keep doing this. So, I decided to take a break from it all by picking up a new hobby.
I have always loved needlework. For a long time, I had been meaning to learn cross stitch, something I had tried and failed at years ago. With an easy kit and a little bit of help from a co-worker, I was soon off and running. I picked it up quickly and within a week completed three small projects. I moved on to another slightly more difficult kit which I am wrapping up now. I also saw some beautiful yarn in a craft store and decided to crochet a lap blanket out of it, another needle hobby I have loved for a few years now. That project is now also almost done.
It seemed my time outs from writing and everything else offered the muses the perfect opportunity to sneak back into my brain and do some housecleaning — and then throw a wild party chock full of poetry and new story ideas. Even the part of my book I was having such trouble with seemed less intimidating and finally came clear. It was seriously magical.
I cannot recommend enough the benefits of having a second or third hobby outside of writing. Whether it’s sewing, gardening, cooking, woodworking, painting, etc, get away from your keyboard and do something fun and productive. Also, watch the amount of time and energy you pour into social media. I am a little ashamed to admit just how many hours of my life have been lost to mindless scrolling on Facebook. Social media can be a blessing for networking and promotion, but it needs to be checked.
So, if any of you have been fighting with the monster of writer’s block, I invite you to step back and walk away from the struggle for a bit. You might find the monster turns into a tiny puppy that was never really scary after all.