Trapped In The Writing Bottle

message in a bottleAs kids we dreamt of writing down a message, sticking it into a bottle and sending it out to sea with the hopes of someone finding it and contacting us to say that our message has been received.  While this is a great thought we do not event think about the barriers that message in the bottle will face. Sure, there have been times that the message was received and the kid who is not a kid anymore has been tracked down many years later but most of the time there is not that happy heartfelt ending that we all love to hear about.

But is there? Our writings are our messages and our blog is our bottle. Writing for some comes easy or seems to whereas for others it is a struggle to get the thoughts from your head down to your fingers to walk along the keyboard. For new bloggers starting a blog is filled with excitement, heart pounding enthusiasm that is mixed with a bit of fear – will anyone find my bottle and read it? Will they let me know in comments, tweets, links, etc that they have found my bottle?  And then it happens, the first retweet or twitter mention, the first comment, the first link. Inspiration to continue writing and send our messages out to sea for more to find. Your adrenaline is pumping with each thought that you get for a new post, your mind is frantic with new thoughts and ideas and then, well, the  barriers come crashing harder than a 5 foot wave. You sit down to write and nothing. You stare at the computer or glance at notes and nothing. Just absolutely nothing.  How can this be happening? Your mind is now racing, you become distracted as you to try and find inspiration. Your message in the bottle is suddenly lost at sea. It happens. You are in no way unique although in times like that, you feel unique. Thoughts of what should I do, am I ever going to be able to write again, am I even in the right niche? Now what?

How to Escape Being Trapped in the Writing Bottle

1. Step Away.  In situations like this, if you cannot leave, the best thing to do is step away. Find a place of comfort to regroup and think. For me, it is cleaning. I get lost in thought when I am cleaning. Not the every day cleaning up of my son’s cars that find their way under my feet regularly, no, I mean moving furniture to get to baseboards cleaning. I keep paper and a pen nearby as before long my mind starts to stray from cleaning and not being able to write to a free flow of thoughts that start to come together. Look for your place when you are drifting out to sea, remember why you started blogging and your place will bring you back to shore.

2. Read.  Keep a few of your favorite authors on hand and pick them up and get lost in their words. In college I was the speed reader, skimmer let’s get this over with so I can read the sports page of the newspaper while I drink my diet pepsi (and then go to the frat party) kind of person. Years later, I rediscovered what I was missing in books. Reading someone else is in itself powerful as we are able to develop opinions, emotions, new endings, etc. which lead us to our own thoughts.

3. TV. Oh the tube.  A million channels and nothing is on. At times this almost contributes to being trapped  in the writing bottle until you find that show that gets you hooked and you become so engrossed in the show that you forget that you were unable to write. You hear watch a character, hear a song, watch a commercial and then you find yourself trailing away and thinking about new thoughts and ideas.

4. A Walk or Jog. Walking or taking a jog is not only good for the heart, it is good for the mind. At first you focus on what is going on about how you cannot write and then with each step, you feel your mind relaxing and the feeling of being lost or the proverbial wall of writers’ block is lifted. Bring paper and a pen.

5. Take a Drive. Not so much of a walker, take a drive. At a light look at everything around you, the other cars, the kid blasting the music so loud that your car shakes. Create a story around everyone and everything you see.

6. Reach Out to a Friend. Our friend are magical. They really are. They hear it in our voice and just know that we are needing a friendly pick me up or a good Charlotte moment.

These are just a few ways to stop being trapped in writing bottle. You know you and when you start to feel the pressure of having nothing to say or that I have to do this, you are lost at sea. Your thoughts and ideas are yours and I feel that there is always something to say. We experience so much every day and taking that experience and sharing it is something to say. There is always an audience but being feeling trapped  in the writing bottle will never allow you to reach that audience. It is not easy as yes the kids get sick, or there is practice, work to be done, a house to be cleaned, dinner to be cooked … it goes on and on but when we believe in, feel or want something bad enough there are no barriers. Take your message in your bottle and send it out to sea knowing that someone will find it and let you know. It is not always about the traffic or the comments, it is about just about sending it out there for people to find and how they receive it.

When you get lost at sea, what do you do?

photo credit: Kraftwerck

  • I've subscribed with email to your blog. Even on my busy days I read your posts instead of deleting them like some of my other subscriptions. You give unique advice and many times it's just what I need. Thanks for your blog!

  • Michelle

    Thank you so much for your kind words. This blog definitely is unique as it is based upon things that I do. I create that story of people I see and what I have experienced. We all get stuck sometimes as we want to have the best blog everyday but best for who? We are all here together in this online space and sharing what works for us is how we all are able to come together.

    I am so glad that you enjoy the blog as that is why I write it – for people to enjoy it.

  • I've subscribed with email to your blog. Even on my busy days I read your posts instead of deleting them like some of my other subscriptions. You give unique advice and many times it's just what I need. Thanks for your blog!

  • Michelle

    Thank you so much for your kind words. This blog definitely is unique as it is based upon things that I do. I create that story of people I see and what I have experienced. We all get stuck sometimes as we want to have the best blog everyday but best for who? We are all here together in this online space and sharing what works for us is how we all are able to come together.

    I am so glad that you enjoy the blog as that is why I write it – for people to enjoy it.

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