I’ve been having some difficulty in sitting down and writing anything of value lately. Despite my ritual of setting myself up with my tea, starting my writing playlist, and open my document to where I left off – I get nothing. This is probably the first time I’ve truly dealt with what is commonly known as “writer’s block” and it’s frustrating to the core.
I complained to a friend about my “problem” (this is in quotations because writer’s block is hardly a problem in the grand scheme of things) and she was sympathetic and encouraging and then asked me to write her a poem. I almost laughed in her face because prose and poems are not something I do. I am fearful of them and just do not understand them.
She called it a creative exercise.
I took the bait.
there once was a zoo made just for you.
there were animals: hairy beasts, sharp teeth, and fuzzy warm noses.
the noises were wild and a little scary too.
But deep inside you found the tiniest of ponds.
exquisite and gleaming.
She praised me and clapped her hands and exclaimed “I love it, you did a thing!”
I beamed and felt my cheeks glowing in pleasure and instantly thought of my children. No matter how grotesque their painting, how dirty their knees and hands, how easy their obstacle – when they show me what they have done I clap my hands, smile with glee and praise them for their effort.
“Darling, you did a thing!” and I mean every ounce of the words coming out of my mouth.
Yet, I cannot conjure up those same feelings for myself. Why is it that we constantly beat ourselves up over the smallest of successes saying they aren’t good enough, yet can easily praise anyone else.
I encourage my children to try again and again till they exhausted all their options, yet I know that as adults if we can’t accomplish what we want perfectly the first time we give up. Or is that just me?
I want to live with a more child-like mindset. To say “I did a thing!” even if it isn’t perfect, all that matters is that I’ve tried and I created something.
How to have a child-like mindset:
Be proud of the small accomplishments and show them off.
My daughter asked me to make a dragon tail for her to wear the other day, so I brought out all the papers and crayons and went to town. The end result was nothing you would find on Pinterest but she was thrilled. She ran around the house with it saying it was a dragon tail kite.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and then try again.
I see this time and time again in my children, they aren’t afraid to make mistakes and if they don’t get it right the first, second, tenth time I’m still there beside them encouraging them to continue or find a different way to their goal. The same goes with anything you’re putting your attention to, be willing to make mistakes and then try again.
Continue to be curious as to why, when, how things happen. Children aren’t afraid to ask questions yet at the same time thirst for knowledge in all subjects whether it’s dinosaurs, trains, magical fairies, or how the world turns. Stay curious and let your curiosities go from interest to interest and then pursue each interest as deep and as wide as your curiosity takes you. You’ll leave with more knowledge than you had before, and no one can say that’s bad for you!
Now I encourage you to start right now with a child-like mindset and see what happens. You’ll never know where it will take you!