If You Think THINKING About Your Writing is Hard – Try NOT Thinking About It

Have you ever had your mind go blank when you sat down to write?

Really?  Have you? 

Image: thenextweb.com

I’m guessing your mind did not go blank.  I’m guessing it just went somewhere else.  What we call a block is perhaps a distraction, more than anything.  Consider this:

I was surprised this morning by one of the daily feeds I read.  Science Daily is revealing a study that shows that it actually takes more work—more mental effort—to stop thinking than to continue.  They first explain something we already know.  Thinking takes energy.  The surprise came when it was discovered that interrupting a thought, that forcing yourself to stop thinking takes more energy still. 

From time to time I write about Writer’s Block, or Writer’s Blah but, to tell the truth, this is something I’ve never considered.

But, think about it.  Have you ever come back from a vacation more tired than when you went?  Perhaps there is something to this… something we need to consider as writers.


2 responses to “If You Think THINKING About Your Writing is Hard – Try NOT Thinking About It

  1. It’s a website, Rik. I’ve subscribed to it.

    As for my own writing thinking: I revised some chapters of Robinson Stone last night and I found myself driven to distraction by feelings of inadequacy and a lack of ideas. But seeing that I’m aware that this will always happen to a writer such as I, I plowed my way through it anyway.

  2. I came across an interesting quote a short while ago which equated the will with the simple capacity to focus our attention and concentrate. It gave me incredible insight. After reading about Mindfulness for instance in the literature of both the Buddhists and as it was imported into Heidegger’s philosophy, I thought that this indeed was a good definition of same. If we have free will, also then, we would be consciously focusing our attention on what we intended to do, whether it was to raise our hand in protest, continue with our writing session, or and this is the tricky one, as per your observation, make a change in our focus of attention, and start a new task. The whole secret it would seem would be to develop the ability to concentrate. Here, definitely is a specific use for the power within the ‘now’, or immediacy of action. One of the reasons, I assume, why Zen concentrates so much on impressing us with the importance of doing simple, seemingly mundane tasks, like doing the dishes.

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