Stuck can refer to a variety of situations, from the lid of a jar that doesn’t come off to a car stuck in traffic. But it also describes something that’s stuck in one place and can’t move, like a foot stuck in mud.
Stick is an adjective derived from Old English stica, to poke or pierce. It’s also used as a verb, meaning “to pierce, fasten, or remain fixed.”
The word is most often used in reference to things that have a sticky substance on them, such as glue. But it can also mean anything that’s fixed in place, such as a person’s foot or a computer.
It’s common for writers to get stuck in their work, whether they’re working on a blog post, a direct marketing piece or a book. It’s a natural part of the process, and even experienced writers will encounter writer’s block at some point.
If you’re feeling stuck, here are a few things to try:
1. Take Stock of Your Life
You don’t need to be stressed or burnt out in order to write well. In fact, the holidays provide a perfect opportunity to re-focus your energy on your relationships and personal goals for the year.
2. Make Small Choices
There’s a saying that “less is more,” and it’s not far from the truth when it comes to getting unstuck. It’s wise to think about which activities are the most meaningful for you and your goals, then cancel or take a break from those that aren’t.
3. Up-Regulate Your Parasympathetic System
If your parasympathetic nervous system is on the fritz, you may feel a whole host of symptoms, including exhaustion, muscle fatigue, glued to the computer, locked on your couch, sluggish, and forgetful. You could also experience a sense of dread or fear, and you might find it hard to decide what to do next.
4. Identify Your Brain’s Motivation to Write
Your brain may be telling you that it isn’t interested in writing. It could be that your attention is focused on other things, or you might just be overwhelmed by the task at hand. The best way to get your brain to focus on your writing again is to change your perspective.