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The Antidote by Rochelle Melander

file0001860537293I mean, I have the feeling that something in my mind is poisoning everything else.            —Vladimir Nabokov

Scientists who study venomous animals know that understanding how an animal’s venom affects its victim will provide the key to creating the antidote. Writers are regularly attacked and often blocked by venomous thoughts or practices. But once we know our poison, we can develop effective antidotes.

One of my clients has the tendency to get lost on creative side trips. She’ll be making good progress on her novel when a thought strikes her: “Oh! Oh! Maybe I could write better if I rearranged my office!” And she’s off: sketching new layouts, searching online for organizing tools, even moving the furniture. She’s since learned the antidote to these amazing ideas: jot them down and address them AFTER she’s put in her writing time.

Consider the last five times you’ve been derailed by negative thoughts, distracting practices, or external distractions. What happened? How have you overcome destructive thoughts or unproductive practices in the past? Create an antidote to help you keep writing—and use it.

Your turn: What are your favorite antidotes to negative thinking, writer’s block or external distractions? Share your thoughts below.


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