As I was blogsurfing this morning (did I just make up a word?) , I came across Sharon Lippincott’s latest post titled “Writing Your Way Out of the Dungeon of Despair.” I love this post for a number of reasons.
The first has nothing to do with what she wrote, but about the fact that a picture she took in the past triggered a memory, and a memory of a feeling, which in turn triggered the subject of her article. Sharon began the post with, “I shiver with cold dread at the sight of this picture.” This article — I will address its content in a moment — is a great example of the use of a photograph as a journal and creative writing prompt.
Then, of course, there is the subject of her post — feeling trapped or stuck in some way, whether in our creative process or in life in general. Writing is the best way I know to overcome obstacles, to explore underlying attitudes and beliefs that contribute to our “stuckness,” and to deepen your self-understanding.
I believe that every seeming obstacle we encounter — and I say seeming because sometimes obstacles are more imagined than real — serves to strengthen us, as long as we take the time to explore and learn from it.
What obstacle are you encountering now in your creative process or in your life? Take some time to write about it. Describe the obstacle and how you think it’s affecting you. Write about all the ways you believe that obstacle is holding you back. Are there any underlying beliefs, things you were taught as a child, or learned from experience that contribute to the way you are responding to it? Write about all the things you could do or be if that obstacle wasn’t in your way. Finally, think and write about what you can learn about yourself from this obstacle (dig deep to answer this one).
While you’re reading, pick up my FREE Essentials of Journaling e-book (the form is in the sidebar to the right), and then stop on by Sharon’s blog, The Heart and Craft of Life Writing. It’s a good one.