I've spent the last month or so being utterly unable to write anything. Not because of writer's block, but because of Too Many Things To Do. We all go through times like that. It's not the end of your writing career, but you might need to take a step back and reassess your goals and priorities.
There are a couple of useful concepts in martial arts that translate directly to writing and help with this. You may have heard of them.
The first is Monkey Mind. It's most frequently referenced in meditation studies. When you're trying so hard to focus on something (breathing, a specific technique, being at peace, repeating something you just did really well) but your mind WILL NOT bloody settle and focus. Things pop in: you have to do the shopping on the way home; did the kids do their homework; that horrible person at the office; how very bad you are at (fill in the blank).
Your mind jumps from idea to idea, thought to thought, running and scuttling through your memories. It's difficult to stay calm or focussed. Your body won't what it's supposed to in the dojo. And learning a martial art requires you to consciously train your body to the point where the movements become unconsciously easy.
The point is: It's nigh on impossible to achieve any sort of success in what you're attempting while your brain has been hijacked by monkeys on speed.
The second concept is that of No Mind. Which is pretty much the polar opposite of monkey mind. And also quite hard to achieve without practice. It's where you can let go of all the monkeying about. Not so much to focus, laser-like, on one thing, but to free your mind from all distractions. To achieve a state of peace and calm.
In the beginning, No mind IS more to do with just being able to let go of the distractions and concentrate on one skill. But as you get better at martial arts, and the body movements become automatic, no mind becomes more about emptying both mind and body of all tension and distractions. Of concentrating on nothing and just allowing your body to move and your mind to be open to what's around and might be a threat - without worrying about it. Because thinking and worrying affects how your body reacts. How fast, how well, How accurately. If you're worrying about what one guy is going to do, then you're blind to the other guy's actions. Or you'll second-guess yourself and stuff up the technique.
No Mind is the ideal state when going into a fight. It allows you to act quickly and think logically without being too badly affected by adrenalin and stress.
Similarly with writing, if you have a massive To Do list and are constantly doing or remembering other little (and big) tasks, you'll get no writing done. Or at least none that you're happy with. Monkey Mind is a terrible state for writers - or any creatives.
No Mind works well for writing. But instead of achieving it through practice of body motions, you can try meditation and breath control. Take meditation courses. Do guided sessions. Learn to empty your mind of all distractions. It takes time and patience. But when you can do it, your mind will then be free to concentrate on one thing - your writing - instead of on fifty.
We all have too much on. Too many things that seem utterly vital. But you'll feel better and achieve more lasting success if you do one thing at a time well, instead of ten things badly.
Learn to free your mind and your writing will flow more easily.
I live in Australia - which tells you I have a sense of humour. We're a self-deprecating people, we Aussies. My aim is to, one day, vanish in a blinding flash of enlightenment. In the mean time, I'm doing my best to learn as many