The Demon Within – Every Writer’s Curse

Writer’s block is inevitable. Every writer goes through the pains of frustration, lack of inspiration, and the overwhelming urge to give up. Writer’s block can be overcome. Each time you succeed it becomes easier to do so in the future. Some causes of writer’s block is personal fear. The Worrying if your work is good enough, the crippling anxiety of never being successful, and terror of being harshly judged. The difference between a good writer and a dreamer is the power of completion. Everyone has these fears. Coming to terms with them is the first step, the next is learning how to overcome the writer’s block.

Eliminate Distractions

Put away the cellphone, turn off the TV, and ask your significant other to go out for a while. We are growing up in a society where everything is at our fingertips. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are some of my personal time-consuming enemies. When the itch to check social media, or play a mindless game becomes too overwhelming, I remember that some of the greatest writers started with physical pen and paper. This is where I start. Pressing pen to paper and scribbling out ideas feels like you’re imprinting them directly onto your brain. It is very satisfying, and everything becomes a little clearer.

Get the Blood Flowing

Go for a walk, soak up some vitamin D. Working up a sweat also clears the mind.  As humans, we need to step away and take breathers. Never allow yourself to get overwhelmed by changing your focus and creating energy. By taking your mind from your work you are actually doing it good. Scientists states that working out works up the blood flow and reenergizes your brain. The change of environment and fresh air allows your brain to forget about overwhelming fears or deadlines and allows ideas to formulate. Taking a breather by moving your attention from writing to Facebook is not reenergization, its procrastination. Get out, walk the dog, jog to the park, or climb local peaks, and blood flow will get your ideas moving and onto the page.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

Start with a small three-point checklist. A To Do List is endless. Give yourself the pleasure of checking off your accomplishments. By allowing yourself this credit, you will actually increase your productivity. No longer do you have an overwhelming 500-page book to write, but one name to think of, one paragraph to write, and one title to create. All these points are important, necessary and entirely manageable.

What does not help writer’s block is waiting for inspiration to come. Wallowing in self-pity, or allowing the aforementioned fear to overwhelm you, will not bring about the next greatest novel or inspiring blog.  Writing is work, but watching how characters grow, or learning from research is immediately strive for. We crave to create. Start right away, and see where your writing path takes you, not having the perfect story in mind first is normal and encouraged. You might find you ended up where you never originally imagined – maybe your final destination is the New York Times Best Selling List.

 

 

Janine Matetich | DBPC Blog

Five Conflict Resolution Practices

The following conflict resolution practices are helpful in managing disputes anywhere including in the workplace, relationships or other situations where negotiation is needed. Although these steps can’t guarantee a solution, they will certainly increase the chances. By understanding the issue, exploring the options and considering the advantages of a negotiated agreement, you are building a constructive environment for resolutions. Follow these practices to reduce the stress, fear and shock factors of dealing with conflict.

Self assessment

Before you can approach conflict management, you need to be aware of and understand your perceptual filters, biases and triggers. By being aware of these things, you allow yourself to be more prepared mentally, emotionally and physically to respond in an ideal way. Also, ensure that you are taking care of yourself by getting sufficient sleep, exercising, and eating properly. This will help you express your needs clearly and listen well.

Take a listening stance

As quoted by Stephen R. Covey, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” We often tend to “push” when dealing with conflict. It is important that we resist the urge to push and channel our efforts into active listening. This significantly improves the chances that both parties will be able to clearly express and understand each other’s ideas and feelings.

State your needs clearly and specifically

It’s sometimes challenging to clearly express your concerns so that they are understood by the other person. It’s important to use assertive communication, which is the process of conveying one’s needs clearly while respecting the needs of the other party. Just because you have taken a listening stance doesn’t mean that the other person will be able to do so. This may result in a back and forth discourse so it’s essential to not rush the process. In this case, it is important that you hang on and maintain a listening stance. Calmly build from what you have heard and listen well before asserting your needs.

Solve problems with flexibility

When resolving a conflict, it’s important that both parties take one issue at a time and begin with the simplest discussion. Collaborate and brainstorm more than one solution to the problem; doing so will avoid the possibility of judgements and evaluations of potential solutions (a.k.a. the “chilling effect”.) The best solutions are made when mutually acceptable criteria are applied to the decision-making process. Sometimes you may need to be open to other concerns that are beyond your control but it shouldn’t become a tangent. Ensure that the discussion is on track and be sure to summarize the agreement.

Build a working agreement

Finally, it’s crucial to bring everyone onto the same page. As you come to a conclusion, identify and review the agreement to confirm fairness. Make sure that everyone has agreed to implement the solution that was determined together. Also, check back on the agreement so any concerns can be voiced and that all parties are fully satisfied.

 

K. Nwankwo | DBPC Blog