One of the challenges of writing is aligning your aspirations with your circumstances. It requires identifying what you want to achieve and then learning to get what you want.

Some people write like maniacs and then collapse; others put it off altogether and feel like failures. If only…becomes a mantra. If only I had more time…if only I didn’t feel pain when I sit too long…

Everyone has special circumstances. What are yours? Maybe it’s time to take a closer look at what you really want now, at this stage of your life. Perhaps writing the bestselling novel is not so interesting to you anymore. What’s more interesting to you now? Poetry? Exploring your inner world by journaling?

Aspirations change. Don’t hang on to them just because you always have. What’s important is that you write what’s in your heart, that you listen to your Muse, and set up a lifestyle that will bring your aspirations into the world. We need them.

Step 1: Look at your patterns of writing (or not writing). Notice your thoughts or complaints if you overdo or not do any writing. If you feel stuck, examine what you are afraid of. What are you avoiding?

Step 2: Learn and apply pacing. Pacing has rhythm. It’s not jitterbug all day long and it’s not all slow dancing, either. It’s a little bit of both. I suggest you keep a diary of your day, analyze your energy, moods, and practices/behaviors. Why? Because we’re going to do things backwards by resting before writing.

Step 3: Set your intentions to write for xxx minutes a day. I suggest 20 minutes at a time. Rest 15 minutes before writing. Then write for 20 minutes. At the end of 20 minutes, you may want to rest again or do something else (for 10 minutes). You may find keeping a book or magazine where you rest will give you something to look forward to during your breaks. Rinse, repeat.

Step 4: A frequent changes of activity gives the body and mind a break and helps you get a lot done, especially writing. Learn what activities come easy to you, such as taking a walk. Learn which ones sap your strength, such as riding in a car for 3 hours.

Step 5: Bonus. To keep the mind relaxed and ready to receive your Muse’s inspirations, take frequent deep breathing breaks. Mindfully, notice how your feel and what thoughts are floating through your mind. This breathing break will provide you renewed energy for your next activity. Make a reminder for yourself to do this during your day.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Patricia Brawley maintains a therapy and consulting practice and is a university professor. She has always been deeply interested in mind-body interaction, health psychology, creativity, consciousness and dreams. She is strongly influenced by mindfulness meditation practice, Buddhist philosophy, yoga, and humanistic values and beliefs.

Dr. Brawley is an independent scholar and researcher with an interest in phenomenological thought and methodology. She has presented professional papers at national and international conferences across the United States, Canada, Japan, Italy, Finland, and Russia.

She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals, American Mental Health Counselors Association, the Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselors Association, the Mississippi Counselors Association, the Mississippi Psychological Association and the International Human Science Research organization.

Dr. Brawley, a published author, enjoys writing and leading writing groups. She lives in McComb, Mississippi with her husband and three cats, Kwan Yin, Nightmare, and Goldilocks.