“I was really stuck last week, but now I’m not as much.”
I probed Strategic Planning Consultant Karen Barth a bit about the word “stuck” because I had a hunch she’d find herself in a similar state again, and maybe it wasn’t exactly stuck but in need of something.
As Karen put it, “If I don’t know what I’m writing. I can’t write it.”
Karen needed to do some research, get clear on the points she wanted to make and add more stories. Then she could develop a detailed outline. And, then, she could write the next chapter in her book.
Without those elements, of course she couldn’t write her chapter!
As Karen put it, “It’s like cooking a meal. I have to have all the ingredients on the counter before I start measuring and mixing.”
We decided to call this phase, “Gathering Phase” so that when it came up the next time and the next, she’d know not to label it as “stuck” but realize this perhaps uncomfortable phase of “not knowing” was just part of the process.
Are you judging some aspect of your writing process? Diagnosing it as writer’s block? Might you change your perspective and give it a new label, one that honors where you are in the process?
Feel free to share your re-frame as a comment below.
Looking for more to read? How about 7 Writing Productivity Tips or Curing Writer’s Block?