That very thing you set out to do; the promise you made to yourself. What if you can’t?

What if the best you can do is stare at the ceiling? Listen to the radiators spewing. Scratch your dog’s head. Read about someone else who could.

Then list a dozen reasons it couldn’t be you.

Is that all you’ve got?

You want to wake up early to write, but you never set your alarm. You tell yourself: Maybe I’ll write after dinner, but you never have. …

When your brain is like a hot pan of scrambled eggs, being creative is almost impossible. Even simple tasks are hard. You start wondering what’s wrong with you. Why can’t I get out of this rut?

If you’re having a hard time finding focus or feeling pulled in a bunch of different directions — welcome to the virtual party. You’re not alone.

Times are hard, friends. Here are some of the ways I’ve been able to get myself through creative ruts and overall feelings of brain mush.

Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

What is brain mush?

Don’t you mean brain fog? Probably. But my brain feels like mush. Maybe…

Photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash

“Push it down.”

She said she can’t believe it’s been a year since things were normal, and I corrected her. We’re still a month away.

“Nope — push it down,” she said again. We laughed.

“It’s fine, everything is fine.” Just like we used to say at our Bluestone meetings every week, in the early days. Consoling each other through building our businesses and laughing our way through uncertainty. Telling ourselves it’s fine.

Now, two years later, there’s another beast we’re laughing our way through (over FaceTime instead of almond milk lattes). …

When I pictured my first day as a full-time freelancer, I pictured freedom. Complete bliss. I’d hear the alarm, smile and stretch out like I was on a Folgers coffee commercial, and then glide out of bed with grace and determination. No more rushing out of the apartment or spending my days on small talk. I’d sip my coffee slowly and feel grateful for the day ahead. Finally, the control I wanted would be mine.

If you’ve been a freelancer for any amount of time, two days or two decades, you know this is a great big pile of she-has-no-idea-what’s-about-to-hit-her…

Feeling reflective might delete later.

One year ago today, I woke up at 4:30am for my last day of barista training.

My Uber driver was a couple minutes late and my heart started to race while I thought about the day ahead. Will I have to make my first latte? Will a customer yell at me for being too slow?

Our training shift was supposed to start at 5:30am that morning. I sat in front of the dark, locked store at 5:17am, surprised to see a group of drunk people walking by so late (early?) …

Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

“So, what about you? Tell us about your business?”

I wanted to grab my bag and my jacket and run.

Within 15 minutes of the networking event, my heart sped to a dangerous level. As always, I was able to keep my panic at bay during the small talk portion. I nodded along, listening to fellow entrepreneurs talking about their businesses, all the while aware of the monster that was growing strength with each held breath. And every word they said, about the weather or where they were from, or how their business was doing, brought us closer and closer…

Karonica Paige

Copywriter and editor. Freelancer for hire. I wear too many polka dots.

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