I found this post while curating content for my Creative Writing Inspiraton feed at ScoopIt. This comes from PLoS Blogs: Mindfulness and Stress
Take for instance the phenomenon of writers block. This has been a frequent struggle for me and even as I was writing this post, inhibiting thoughts flooded my mind which I immediately accepted as truth: I’m taking a long time to write this post, I must be sub-par; How will I make this post be the most creative possible? If I can’t do that, then what am I wasting my time for?; What if my readers aren’t interested—at all?
While common reasons for not being able to write are attributed to not knowing what to say, not being skilled enough, or simply fearing what others will think of your prose, an experience of writers block can generally be resolved by free-writing or free-listing. Both exercises force the author to experientially work through the contradictions, doubts, and – more often than not – the very nuggets of wisdom or topical analysis that the author originally sought from outside sources.
During free writing, the author is obliged to not worry about future or ultimate outcome, but rather about developing ideas step-by-step, or as they come to the writer. This has the effect of getting the proverbial idea-ball rolling, which encourages even more present moment thinking, until the writer enters more-or-less of a “flow”. As the author learns to trust him or herself more and more, less emphasis is placed on whether the piece will be an astounding success or an abysmal failure. The emphasis, instead, is placed on focusing the authors own experience of the processing of ideas, which has the continued effect of reducing stress and increasing productivity by increasing the experience of control and self-efficacy.
By engaging in this process of moving forward little by little, less time and mental capacity can be allocated to worrying about the outcome of a given problem, since the practical challenge of completing the next step takes precedent over predicting conclusions.