About Mindful Writing

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

The cursor is blinking on your empty Word document. Or maybe the pencil is hovering above the blank page of a notebook. Maybe the pen is lingering over a scrap of a napkin or a receipt. You’ve almost caught the idea, but it’s dancing out of your reach and your fingers keep grabbing at the empty space it occupied only seconds before. So you open up social media. Or you close your notebook. Or that scrap of napkin or receipt finds itself on top of a heap of trash.

As writers, we all suffer from this occurrence. There’s always a moment we simply don’t know what to write. There’s plenty of reasons this happens. To name a few:

  • Lack of inspiration
  • School
  • Work
  • Lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Other mental illness

It’s almost guaranteed that at least one of these will take its toll on you at some point, and if not, something else will. That’s where I’d like to help.

This year, I went from writing 2,000 words a day to absolutely 0.

It seemed to happen overnight, but that’s not exactly true. I know it was a slow build. I can name my stressors easily: new house, getting engaged, my beloved dog passing away, training a new dog, starting college after a year-long hiatus, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, an episode of psychosis…

You get the point. I found myself staring at the blank page more times than I can count. On top of everything, good and bad, I found myself with another hurt. I “couldn’t” write. I “couldn’t” put words on a page. I set aside my completed novel rough draft, assured that I “couldn’t” edit. My dreams of being an author no longer seemed feasible. So at some point, I gave up. I told myself I “couldn’t.”

Then I did. I wrote short responses to creative writing prompts, a sequel to the rough draft I’d been working on, creative nonfiction essays. I went back to my rough draft and started to edit it once more. Yet none of these would’ve been possible without many other steps I took to be well. If I could explain them all in one short blog post, there probably wouldn’t be much of a point to this blog. I want to help others like me, whether their rut is simply writer’s block or a life-altering event. I want to provide hope for my fellow writers.

In this blog, you will find book suggestions, writing prompts, tips to combat stressors, how-to guides on writing, and personal notes on writing with mental illness. You are not alone in your struggles, no matter how big or small you think they are.

Currently, there are four other posts available for you to browse: a book suggestion post, twelve ways to decrease anxiety, ten tips for surviving workshops, and my recent experience at Meacham, a writer’s conference.

There will also be a monthly writing prompt that I will join you in writing on. Sometimes this will be a single word. Sometimes this will be a sentence or more. Write as little or as much as you want and feel free to share. Or don’t. It’s yours, after all.

November Writing Prompt: Pearls

Comments or questions are all appreciated! Keep writing!

Published by Keily Blair

Keily Blair is a creative writing student at UT Chattanooga, where her nonfiction won the Creative Writing Nonfiction Award. Her fiction has appeared in Nth Degree, Five on the Fifth, and is upcoming in Trembling With Fear and Night to Dawn. Her creative nonfiction is upcoming in Breath & Shadow. She is currently at work on a fantasy novel and a collection of essays about being a person with bipolar disorder. Her goal is to help other writers let go of stress and anxiety so they can reach their full potential.

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