Coach Marla Beck

How I Reset My Writing When I’m Stuck

by Marla

in brilliant mindset

One of the best things about writing these weekly articles is hearing from you:  I love hearing how these ideas help you to get inspired and bolder in life and writing!

I cull these insights and ideas from countless hours of heart-to-heart coaching conversations with writers just like you:  smart, but stuck.  Loads of potential, but not enough focused action. (Yet.)  Too much effort. Too little gain.

If I had to choose one of the most powerful qualities that helps writers learn to break patterns and get unstuck, it’s the skill of taking charge of their  attitudes.

Below is a very simple technique you can use to take charge of your attitude and restart an unproductive writing session — or writing day. If you don’t think you need these tips today, print this article out and save it for the day you do! A fresh infusion of creativity, energy and focus awaits you.

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3 Steps to Reset Your Writing Session

Let’s face it:  not every writing day is stellar.  If you write, there’s a good chance you’ve had one of those days or writing sessions where not much is going right.

Whether your challenge is self-imposed (Facebook oblivion, anyone?) or entirely beyond your control, the end result is the same:

  • You lose your sense of agency.
  • You start feeling doubt or disappointment in yourself.
  • You cut yourself off from the source of inspiration and creative problem-solving.

The good news is this:  anytime you’re stuck or off-track, there’s a simple, mindfulness-based remedy available to you anytime you remember it.

“The moment that you notice is the moment you get to choose.”  

Marla Beck

The moment you notice that you’re:

– spacing out

– re-revising your first chapter (again…)

– organizing your desktop or doing the dishes instead of getting to the work of writing

That moment when you see yourself off-track?  That’s the moment you get to choose.

This simple principle can be difficult to remember when you’re in the thick of things, but we always, always have the opportunity to salvage a bad writing day and start anew.  And we don’t have to judge or berate ourselves to get better results, either.

Here are highlights from a proven “reset your work session” routine I often teach in my Two Days to Write writing intensives. Try this simple 3-step “Reset Your Writing” routine out for yourself.

1 – Notice.  The moment you notice you’re off-track, don’t judge yourself:  simply notice.  Stand up, step away from the writing desk and resolve to shift your experience.  (Berating yourself drains your energy unnecessarily.)

2 – Move your body.  Take a guilt-free, ten-minute break and move your body.   Breathe deeply, swing your arms, jog in place or do a quick round of calisthenics.  The goal is to get your blood pumping and your mind refreshed.

3 – Replenish yourself.  Go get yourself a drink of water, and while you’re at the sink, list ten things you’re grateful for.  Don’t skip over the gratitude check-in.  It may sound trite, but it’s powerful.  Do it.

4 – Reset.  Head back to your desk and list two attainable things you really want to get done today.  Choose one goal to focus on first and craft a ten-minute, “I can do this” mini-goal for yourself.  Write it down.  Then set your timer, and focus only on this one, single goal.

It’s not difficult to refresh your body, mindset and creativity when you recognize you need to step away and give yourself the permission you need to take a break and start anew.

Practice the art of noticing and try this simple reset routine whenever you feel stuck.

You’ll end the day happier — and get more writing done, too — if you do.

With love from your coach,


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