What Do I Do Now?

There are weeks when I find a topic to write about very easily. Sometimes there are multiple topics, based on experiences and topics that are fighting to get out. Then there are other times when I just don’t have an idea; like this week. I have been extremely busy for the last several weeks, but I sort of came to a screeching halt as I sit to write this Blog.

There are times when we all get stuck, and it does not always have anything to do with how busy we are. That said, sometimes the overload itself may be the reason for getting stuck. You have so many things to do and they are all important, so you can’t choose which to focus on first. Sometimes you may get stuck simply because you are tired, and sometimes you really don’t know why you are stuck, you just are. So, what do I do now?

In my case, there are two things that I can try that often help me get unstuck. Since my Blog often springs from conversations and experiences, I will take a few quiet minutes to review what has happened to me in the last week or so, if I can remember at all! It is not so much an orderly review as much as letting my mind go and wander around and see what comes to light. At times it is interesting to follow the chain of thought and see where it leads. I try so hard to be rational, reasoned and orderly in my thinking so that it is good to let go and see what comes next once in a while.

Another thing that I can do is sit down at my computer and start writing. Come to think about it, that’s not unlike just letting my mind wander a bit, except that I attach my fingers and let them participate in the wander. Eventually, my fingers seem to take on a life of their own and begin telling a story or gathering an insight. As I type this, it occurs to me that I could always pick up a book and read a chapter, or listen to some music and perhaps that will break the logjam. You see? When you let your mind and fingers wander, you never know what little insight you might find.

But you are probably sitting there thinking, “I have so much to do, and I don’t have time for fanciful flights of imagination!” And, you are probably right, until you get stuck. If mind and finger wandering don’t do it for you, you can take a break. I just did that; I stopped to make a cup of coffee (I am writing this at 5:30 AM), and now I am continuing my meditation on what to do when I am stuck.

I suppose that the most important part of being stuck is admitting that I am stuck, and don’t know where to go next. At times I don’t have the next idea and need to work my way out of that rut. Having said that, I now must come to the conclusion, which all good Blog posts normally have. You know, it’s the insightful last sentence that sums up everything and leaves the reader pondering. Sorry! I just don’t have one this week.

So I will do the next best thing, I will call on you, my readers, to help me out: perhaps you could answer the question and provide guidance and inspiration for all of us that get stuck once in a while, and post a few sentences on what you do to get unstuck when it happens to you. I thank you in advance and now begin hoping for inspiration for next week!

2 thoughts on “What Do I Do Now?

  1. John Sanguinetti

    Kevin,

    I find that the most reoccurring condition for getting “stuck” is mental and physical fatique, one of the probable factors you presented. Of course, rest is the best solution to resent the mind and the body. There is nothing better than a good night sleep to boost the alertness and concentration capacity of the mind. Although I am not attempting here to draw upon dreams for inspiration in offering a solution, I do belive there is a lesson in comparison. Every dream we have can be traced to a trigger of some type: a thought, a conversation, an observation, an encounter, etc. usually within 24 to 48 hours of the dream. Likewise everyone of your blog subjects has a trigger. I found many years ago that if I did something consciously just before I went to bed/sleep to set my mind to remember my dreams then when I awoke, I was better able to bring the subconscious to the conscious level. I don’t believe there is a practical application that solves your problem; however, if day-by-day you carry a handy notepad (you probably already do this) to log anything and everything that might be a subject worth blogging, you will have plenty of triggers.

    Good luck!

    John

  2. When I face a creative roadblock, I get up and walk away from whatever it is I’m working on and do something totally different – play with the kids (if at home), take a look at the NYTimes.com, this blog or my favorite college football blogsites. Then after a good 30 minutes at least, I re-engage.

    If it is a mental roadblock due to the sheer amount of important things I have to do, I write everything out on a whiteboard and then go through them one at a time. When I have something completed, I mark a line through it (I don’t erase. For some reason, mentally I can keep momentum going if I see all these “marked through” items to get on to the next one.)

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