Monday morning. I sit down in front of my computer. Mondays are my day for creating new content: a blog post, a social media article, something useful to put on Instagram or on my website. I sit and stare at the screen.
I’ve got nothing. Nada. As the song says, I’m “running on empty.”
I sit a while longer hoping I can start up the engine of creativity on the fumes of my imagination. But nothing comes.
I’m surprised. A little disconcerted, actually. I’m usually pretty good at coming up with topics to write about but not this morning. What’s happening to me? Am I losing it? Is it writer’s block? Will I write again?
Have you had an experience like this? What do you do? Do you put the task off to the following day hoping an idea will come to you? Do you dig out an old article and recycle it? Or do you start trolling the internet hoping to come across something that will trigger a response?
I try the latter two. I quickly get tired of trolling the internet or, at least, tired of reading one achievement after another, looking at photos of beautiful landscapes, and pondering endless upcoming webinars that will change my life. I open my file of previous articles and posts but nothing seems particularly relevant to my needs.
I ponder leaving the task to the following day but worry that my weekly schedule will be disrupted. Everything depends on my creating content on a Monday, editing and posting on a Tuesday, creating a short video on a Wednesday, coaching on a Thursday, and preparing my newsletter and podcast on a Friday.
Just re-reading that last paragraph causes me to stop. I’m aware of a growing tension in the pit of my stomach. Stress. C’mon, I think, I’ve been here before. You can soldier through this. You’ve done it many times before. Met last-minute deadlines, pulled all-nighters. That’s why people rely on you — you get things done.
But not this morning.
My brother used to have a dog that knew its limit. You’d take it for a walk and when it had gone far enough, it sat down. No matter how much you tugged on the leash or coerced it, it wouldn’t move until you turned around and headed for home. It didn’t matter if you wanted to go to the park; if the dog decided halfway was as far as it was going that day, that was it. You turned around.
That’s how my brain feels this morning. It has just sat down and isn’t budging. I tug and coerce and threaten but no deal. So, I turn around and go home. And that means, closing my computer and leaving my desk. “Home” right now is outside in the sunshine, away from the Internet, endless Zoom calls, and slews of emails.
Will I have an article this week? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. Will anyone notice? Probably not.
All I know is that I need a change of scene. I need sunshine, fresh air, and a rest. That’s what my body is asking me for.
What’s your body asking you for? Are you listening?
I’m always interested in how other solopreneurs cope with stress and mind/body disjunction. Share your comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Williams is a storyteller, StoryCoach, writer & end-of-life planning educator. He’s particularly interested in helping women and men create their legacy by transforming their past experiences, dreams, and wisdom into gifts that can be passed on to the generations after them. Learn more at www.legacycoaching.ca and at www.beforeigosolutions.com