I’m a routine-driven person. I do the same things daily. I wake up; go on a 40-minute walk; listen to a meditation; start work; try to watch at least one informative video before my brain clocks off for the night; write; and go to bed.
Since going on holiday a couple of months ago, my routine has changed. One of the things I’ve noticed is that I haven’t been writing as routinely as usual before bed. I’ve been doing a lot of writing generally, but less embodied writing. When life happens, we typically have less capacity, which is why I feel my embodied writing practice has been so disjointed.
I haven’t fought the situation
I’ve used writing as a personal development tool for several years now. I always say consistency is important, but I’m also capable of falling off the bandwagon. (Like I have recently.) I don’t view this turn of events as a ‘bad’ thing. From experience, I know I’ll return to my more regular writing patterns when the time is right. For the moment, whatever needs expressing needs space.
Consistency is important
My confession aside, I don’t want to downplay the importance of consistency. You don’t have to be perfect to benefit from embodied writing, but consistency is important.
I’ve been doing a version of embodied writing since I was 12 (although I wouldn’t have recognised what I was doing back then). I’m now 36. That’s a decent amount of time. The thing is, I don’t teach or practice standard journaling (a summary of the day’s events or a massive brain dump). I help people to stay connected with the body as they write.
The importance of feeling into the moment
Life is many things, and at times, it’s messy. Sometimes we don’t have the capacity to engage fully in embodied writing. We don’t always feel grounded and safe. And that’s ok.
Although I could definitely be more consistent at the moment, when I do write, I’m engaging in longer and more intense writing sessions. I experienced such a session last weekend. I felt capable of writing and processing what I needed to. The process was, like life, messy and all over the place.
As I type this message, I’m grateful for the ability to express myself and feel whatever I need to. This is what a more regulated nervous system looks like. A more resilient nervous system is not a case of never experiencing the emotions we label ‘bad’ or ‘unwanted’. We can feel what we need to feel without getting trapped in a constant fight, flight, freeze, fawn autonomic nervous system response.
How to break out of a serious writing funk
If you’re relatively new to writing or are finding that lacking consistency means you never write, it’s wise to have tools to help get yourself back into the habit of writing regularly. Personally, I feel like writing daily provides me with a greater appreciation for the full spectrum of life because I’m writing on what I perceive as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days. That’s what works for me; experiment with what works for you.
5 tips to get you writing again
#1. Set aside time in your calendar like you would for an important work meeting
You wouldn’t casually blow off an important work meeting, would you? If you’re really keen to write, make it a priority.
#2. Experiment with different ways to express and write
If you have a trusted friend you speak with online, messaging back and forth is a form of writing. There are several ways we can express ourselves. The key is remaining open-minded and connected to our body while writing.
#3. Define what ‘regular’ means to you
How many times a week are you aiming to write? Having a clear goal is helpful while establishing what works for you and what doesn’t.
#4. Track the impact writing has on you
This will eventually become your ‘why?’ when you don’t feel like writing. (As we’ve established in this post, it happens to the best of us.) Be aware of how writing impacts your life. You may have a clearer mind, or find you’re able to handle difficult situations throughout the day without going into overwhelm. The benefits of writing are unique to everyone.
#5. Consider switching up your environment (if possible)
It’s difficult to remain connected to our body when our external world is chaotic. As I said, with embodied writing, it’s not about engaging in a massive brain dump. We’re expressing ourselves without censorship while remaining connected to our body and the sensations that arise (or don’t arise) as we write. It’s best to write from a place of safety, so be mindful of your environment and how it may be helping or hindering your intent to write.
Love the idea of having a regular writing practice but need help figuring out where to start?
Storytelling for the Soul’s Write Your Way to Healing Quick Start Guide is designed to teach busy people like you how to use embodied writing as a healing tool. In just 5 easy-to-follow steps, this PDF arms you with the basics for writing your way to healing and includes writing prompts to get you started. Set aside 10 minutes a day (or whatever you can manage) to write. Download the free PDF.