How to re-route your writing practice when you feel lost

How to re-route your writing practice when you feel lost_text over lightened image of directional pole with arrow against blue sky
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When you find yourself repeatedly deleting typed passages or wading through balled up pieces of notebook paper previously discarded in your trash bin, you may be unknowingly stuck in a negative pattern. Much like going in circles in the woods, you find yourself back at square one over and over until your impulse is to give up the journey entirely.

Compound this meandering with pandemic isolation detours, and what once was possible feels impossible.

It is tempting to see your cause as lost. But in these moments, I hear the undeterred voice of a GPS narrator when I make a wrong turn: recalculating…recalculating… There is another way.

Instead of quitting your story or walking away from your writing practice, though, try these simple steps for pressing reset on your energy button and recovering your sense of direction, if not your “true north”:


Stop writing at your desk or table or chair and find a spot on the floor. Make it comfortable by stacking up pillows or removing couch cushions. This new spot can be inside or outside your regular writing space. Changing your view of the room can change the trajectory of your writing. Chances are you can’t write at a coffee shop or in the park right now. So change your lighting and put on headphones, even if you don’t play any music. Or simply move to another room of the house for a bit and see what happens.


If you keep circling back to the same spot, it could be you are missing a clue on the map. Changing the setup of your space will reveal hidden ideas and possibly some well-loved items you thought were gone forever, stimulating your creative flow. What if your desk faced a different window? What if it was a standing desk? What if all you really need is a body pillow and your laptop on the floor? Move things around in search of a “new normal” for comfort while writing.


Rituals such as smudging or cleaning and affirming your space are helpful in shifting your emotional perspective on that space. Even opening a window to allow the circulation of new air is meaningful. Consciously choosing to move past old ideas is a powerful act, and one that can declutter your mind the same way a good purge can declutter your physical space. Engage regularly in the active release of negative energy and you just might find that blocks and loss of focus become less frequent.

Humans are creatures of habit. These three simple, rerouting actions can support you in breaking out of a negative pattern and take you down a new path of renewed creative energy.

How do you hit reset when you feel stuck or lost? Will you try Shawna's three tips? Share with us in the comments!

Related reading: Why we call it a writing practice

How expressive writing can keep you afloat

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