Soooooo! In answer to my Call for Guest Posts I have a selection of posts for you from various sources. These fabulous people have been kind enough to take time out of their days to write up a little something for this blog because I’m so crazy busy! You’ll see these pop up over the coming weeks so be sure to keep coming back!
In the fourth post of the selection, we’re visited by Sally Edmans, a fine lady I met at the last Herofest LARP last year. Not only is she kind, thoughtful and generous, but she is also an holistic therapist and she has some gentle advice here that I feel we can all benefit from, in any walk of life.
Take it away, Sal!
My name is Sally, and I am not a writer by trade. In fact, I am barely even a blogger as I seem to be rather useless at keeping my blog up to date. Then again, that may be because I am being kept rather busy with my day job, so I can’t complain.
I am a holistic therapist. I pick up the pieces when people have tried to get the help they need through Western medicine and found that for one reason or another it isn’t working for them. I have a whole array of bizarre tricks up my sleeve that can help ease pain, relax tired minds and even help babies to sleep if their sleep pattern goes up the creek [Give me a shout if you need that one in the future ;)].
So what, you may ask, can I possibly bring to a blog about writing?
I often see people who have something wrong, but they simply do not know what it is. Have you ever had that feeling, where things just roll endlessly around your head and you can’t figure out what to do with them, or even what half of them are? It’s not totally dissimilar to writer’s block, but it is a problem that attacks most people regardless of their trade or profession at some point in this crazy, ultra-civilised world.
The first thing I can recommend for people experiencing this is to relax. If your brain is working overtime, taking five minutes a day to lie back, close your eyes and concentrate solely on your breathing will make a huge difference. I promise that any time you invest in activity (or inactivity) that switches your brain into neutral like this will add at least that amount in extra time to your day. Take five minutes to unwind and you will have at least five minutes more in your day. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. “I don’t have time to relax” should never be an excuse.
The second piece of advice I offer regularly is automatic writing. Take a notepad and a pen. Sit comfortably where you’re not going to be disturbed. Start writing. Do not pause. Do not even take your pen off the paper. Just keep writing.
At first it feels clumsy, awkward and unnatural, but if you continue to do this every day you will find that your mind will actually start to open up to you and let you know what is going on inside it. Once you get past the stage where you’re baffled by the whole experience and seem to write passages about the colour of your socks interjected with words like “flubber” and “banana”, you will start to see real profundity emerging. And now for the clincher: once you are finished with your writing, destroy it. Burn it, shred it, feed it to the neighbour’s goat. Just make sure that it is gone. Knowing that this is never going to be shared with anyone is what makes the process safe and secure, and what will appease your subconscious safeguards.
As writers, you will be prone to write with the intention of sharing it with others. How often do you remember to write purely for yourself?
May you all have a relaxed, healthy and happy day.