Hello! I'm new around here. Thanks for having me
There’s a situation that I’m in, that I’m hoping for some advice and input on.
I used to write fictional stories as a hobby / side interest, before I started developing anxiety. The anxiety was caused by relationship issues, toxic relationships that I’ve since gotten rid of.
Back then, story ideas would flow freely into my mind. I was often immersed in a fun stream of ‘inspiration’, which, in turn, was used to fuel my writing. It was an enjoyable process for me, and I loved writing very much.
However, I stopped writing when my anxiety hit levels that were so high, nothing came into my mind except for negative and paranoid thoughts. I was a wreck, and I wasn’t in the right state of mind to write anymore, so I stopped for several years (around 6 - 7 years).
1.5 - 2 years ago, I started to delve into Buddhism. I began meditating and practising mindfulness (as well as other Buddhist teachings), as a way of coping with the large amounts of anxiety and paranoia that I was suffering from. It has helped me very much, and in recent months, I feel more calm, and more at peace with myself than I was years ago. I’m very grateful to the benefits that I’ve reaped from these practices.
And so a couple of months back, I decided to pick up writing again.
However here are the issues that I'm now facing.
Ever since I’d started meditating and practising mindfulness in my daily life, I’d developed the habit of ‘not thinking’. I’d conditioned my mind to allow thoughts to enter and leave, without paying any heed to them. This seems to be interfering with my writing. Whenever I attempt to generate ideas in my mind, my subconsciousness blocks out ideas, and prevents them from developing. I seem to tell myself subconsciously, to 'stop thinking so much, stop mulling over matters, stop getting attached to the thoughts that I have'. While helpful when it comes to dealing with mental anxiety, this is also preventing me from developing story ideas and plots.
Occasionally, when I do manage to get into that state of 'story creation', I space out. I stop being mindful, of both actions and thoughts, I stop paying attention to what's going on around me, and I'm unable to remain rooted in the present. Unfortunately for me, story creation seems to be a 24/7 process. I feel that inspiration strikes me randomly - when I'm walking, eating, or being engaged in other mundane activities. It isn't something that I'm able to schedule into the day, where I set aside a couple of hours just to think and get inspired. As a result, I'm left in a situation where I have to choose between allowing my thoughts to wander, or staying mindful. It seems to be either one, or the other.
So here I am, looking for some help. I hope that my long ramble isn't too confusing! I've searched online, and can't seem to find much advice on how to deal with this situation, so any opinions would be very much appreciated. Thank you for reading!