Write your way out of a rut and into action
Write your way out of a rut and into action

Write your way out of a rut and into action

I feel that I am in a rut. It’s not a well-worn groove and I’m certainly not in the groove, or at least it doesn’t feel that way. I feel tired, weary to my bones and I know that to get out of my rut I need to write.

It is deeper than that. This rut is a line in the sand, something has to change and the only person who can do this is me and the time to do it is now.

Last Friday evening the choice on TV was Sport Relief or Football. Neither stirred me and instead I subscribed to Netflix. It occurred to me that in the past I had gorged myself on Battlestar Galactica, Breaking Bad and indeed one period of my life was highlighted with Soprano Sundays. When I wondered had I lost this urge to indulge in the life of a TV box set? To allow me the pleasure of doing nothing.

I chose Cable Girls (Las Chicas Del Cable), a Spanish series full of love and betrayal. That was it, once I’d watched one I wanted more and given that I didn’t have a diary full of dates, dancing and bands, I indulged.

12.30 and moving into the early hours of Sunday and I decided it was time for bed. I’d seen enough for one day. My emotions caught me unawares and I burst into tears. Looking at the ceiling, for where else do you find God, The Universe, Spirit or some Higher Power, I cried out ‘I’ve had enough, I have had a shit life and it ends here.’

The following morning I realised that I was well and truly in a rut, a downward spiral of sadness as I tried to process my life.

Earlier in the week, I’d been journaling and from the depths of my soul, she whispered trust and betrayal. Just when you think this is it, I’ve sorted my stuff out, something else comes up. What next I ask with a smile? Why do they leave the darkest tar to last? Is the hardest stuff left towards the end so that you have more resources to deal with it?

The program was a reminder of how destructive trust and betrayal can be and this sadness didn’t leave me all weekend. Especially as after I’d gorged myself on one box series I found Reign which went on to cover the same issues love and betrayal but in an altogether different setting.

My rut has set in because I am a little immobilised by spinal fractures and pain. I have to heal and healing takes time and I admit to being a tad impatient. Dealing daily with pain is no fun. Yet I do not wallow in it. As I lie in bed I do exercises, when I get up I do exercises and I keep moving so that my body doesn’t grind to a halt.

My diet is of utmost importance, but I am tired of eating well, sick of green at every meal and I want to break free. Only I can do that. Only I have the power and the gumption to change what I eat and more importantly my life.

Patience they say is a virtue. Well, right now you can shove virtue where the sun doesn’t shine. I’ve had enough of waiting. Yet even as I write that, I know and I am smiling that I need this virtue to heal. It would be foolhardy to trek into the hills and risk a fall.

Risk a fall. It seems that all I have ever done is fall, but falling and fracturing again in this healing phase is not a clever move and so I look instead for reduced risk options, that still give me some semblance of normality. Normality within four walls is so hard for a person like me. This is a tough lesson. The truth is I don’t have four walls, my house is full of quirky rooms and I can move from space to space as I need. But still, I am caught in a brick box that does not seem ready to release me just yet.

Over the weekend I realised that I hadn’t written any words for my book. Instead, I journaled as I usually do. I needed to capture the essence of this breakthrough.

It is a breakthrough despite the tears and screaming at empty emotionless ceilings. In the silence, I was greeted with the stark reality that there is only one person to get me out of my rut and that is me.

Nobody is going to reach in and pull me out, because they are all in the rut that is their life.

It struck me that I needed to get back to work on my book and a course and I had to make myself. Ruts don’t divert unless we are prepared to get out of the safety of pain and trudge through the uneven ground to create a groove elsewhere.

You can get out of a rut with writing

Go and get your journal and pen, find a comfy space and write RUT in big letters in the middle of the page. The ask yourself these questions:-

  • Why am I in a rut?
  • How did I get into this rut?
  • What does my rut look like – bring in all of your senses?
  • Why do I like being in this rut?
  • What don’t I like about my rut?
  • How will I get out of this rut?
  • What if my rut didn’t exist?
  • What needs to happen to re-route the rut?
  • How does it feel to leave it behind?
  • How does it feel and what does it look like in my new groove?

Now pick an action and go and do it.

I’m off to my office to outline two chapters of my book (Osteoporosis and Me) and to write one. After which I shall start to outline a course – Write your life story – turn memories into memoir (avail May 2018).

The heavy driving winds from the last few days have dropped and I shall be out walking again this week. It’s been hard to walk with pain, but it feels time.

Dale Darley

Book writing coach, writer and author. Helping you to make sense of your ideas and personal stories so that you can plan and write the right book. Mum to three dogs and a family of swallows. Life without cake is a life unlived.

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