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8th March 2016

Operation Masturbation

Ellie Gibbs gives some soul soothing advice on how to cure writer’s block. But is she really talking about writing?

Having been asked to write a piece for feminism week in the Lifestyle section, I found myself in that state dreaded by journalists and authors alike: Writer’s block.

Being blocked is frustrating. You know there’s something you need to do, you know there’s something you can do, but for whatever reason, it just ain’t happening. Why was I blocked? A lack of motivation perhaps, a lack of inspiration, food for thought. Maybe I doubted my ability to produce anything. What I needed to do was to calm down, forget about the end point of finishing the article itself, and take baby steps. Play around with it, slowly undress my ideas onto a blank page without the urgency to come to the climax.

I thought about the deadline, issued on Monday and I had until Thursday. What was the rush? I had loads of time. I could write a little bit every day if I wanted, write it all in one go, or simply let the mood take me away without any kind of plan. The latter was my favourite. Besides, the act of writing wasn’t going to go away, it wasn’t like this was my only chance. As with anything, practice makes perfect. The first time may not be successful, but to succeed we can keep trying and only get better.

There’s nothing embarrassing about feeling pent up; nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to everyone, and some may be more open about it than others. One thing is for sure: We shouldn’t shame those who have something to release, we should encourage and help them to channel their inner spirit out, bring them to life by giving hope, empowerment and sisterly advice. This empowerment is for everyone. Whether you feel like trying is like hitting a brick wall, and you have come to a stage of acceptance and that it’s not for you, or whether you feel that you have no problem with this issue and you don’t need the help—it’s important to be aware that everyone is different and the conversation is worth having between trusted friends.

Make time for yourself, for your personal creativity. Try to connect the ideas of your brain with your fingers. This output is an important part of human nature and a valuable form of meditation. If you find yourself over-thinking whilst trying to remain in the moment, you could always try chanting the acronym of this title: ॐ, or “Om”.

Spirituality is an ancient thing, the body is designed to facilitate its own pleasure through the power of the mind and the fingertips. This past time is as valuable to your happiness and wellbeing as sleeping, eating and keeping clean.

Take it slow, take it easy. Light some candles if you like, have a bath. Let the mind relax and forget about the impending objective of the activity. Do some stretches, loosen up and let your hands do the magic.
Everyone can do it. Everyone can let their creativity rush. Don’t give up, you have it in you. Just release the pressure, take it slow and make the experience an enjoyable one.

Oh look, it’s the end of the article. I made time, I did it, there was no pressure. And oh, does it feel good.

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