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  • Writer's pictureRobert Norton

When you aren't feeling it

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

Last week, I set aside a whole day to write. In my mind’s eye, I was going to wake up early and luxuriate in a whole day of writing without interruption. I was going to KNOCK IT OUT and I was EXCITED ABOUT IT!

Fast forward to the big day and I woke up feeling out of sorts, just a little blue. I tried to get going a few times, but it was rough. What had formerly felt inspiring now felt intimidating, and everything I wrote seemed false or hollow. After an hour, I switched gears to graphic design and created some marketing materials instead.

Finally, I gave up entirely and took the rest of the day off, mostly playing music. I’m learning how to accompany myself on piano and working through my repertoire of sad songs felt apropos.

I’m a big believer in mixing things up when my mojo goes missing. Singer-songwriter, Jewel, describes the benefit she gets from taking a break from music, her primary occupation: “If you are a farmer and you plant the same crops every year, it depletes the soil. But, if you rotate the crops, it makes the soil stronger. If I switch from songwriting to painting to poetry, my songwriting gets better in my absence. If not, it just burns me out.”

Our creativity ebbs and flows with our moods. In my experience, sometimes I can shake off a funk in a day or two; other times it takes a few weeks. Regardless, I’ve learned that if I agonize over it, it makes it worse.

I rescheduled my writing date for the following week and gave myself permission to meander through the day without self-judgment. It was the combination of accountability and self-compassion that I needed to meet the moment with intention.

When you aren't feeling it, check in and ask yourself: What do I need to do to own this day anyway?


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