This is Day 6 of the 30 Day Tarot Writing Challenge! If you need to get caught up on past days, be sure to check out the Tarot Challenge page.
Not even a week in, and I know that for at least some of you, writers block might have set in. It has for me, at least.
As someone who regularly participates in Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo proper, I’m not a stranger to those moments of getting stuck. For me, it’s something about the pressure of completing a wordcount within a time frame and wanting to mull an aspect of my story over that just lodges me in a rut.
But that’s ok, it happens to us all the time. I have many tools for this to get me out of it, usually journaling my way out of it. I find that the majority of the time, what is keeping me stuck is something in my mind, and I can usually untangle that knot by writing out the contents of my brain, related and unrelated to my Work In Progress (WIP).
Though that’s a tool I just don’t have time for right now, and thus, I need something a little quicker and direct.
So I created a spread for it.
The idea of this is to look at where your mental space is and your relationship to your current WIP. This should give you the tools you need to realise that it isn’t your creativity or your piece that’s holding you up, but something else. That something else is most likely unrelated, and thus, you can set it aside to deal with outside your creative work.
Also, because this is about you, unless you want to, you don’t need a signifier card for this spread. If you feel like your readings really benefit from it, then absolutely choose one for yourself, but otherwise, I don’t think it’s essential. However, if you are reading for another person, I might recommend choosing one. But that’s just my style.
This card represents your mental space. This will tell you really where your mind keeps wandering to, your level of stress, of distraction, etc. This is what is likely to be going on in your head or directly around you.
While Card 1 lets you know what’s going on around you, and in generally in your head, Card 2 is going to specifically point to what is blocking your creativity.
This card represents how you see your WIP. You might be extremely excited about it, or you might just be bored of it. However, sometimes we’re bored of it because we’re stuck, or sometimes we’re excited about it because we have to be to complete it. This card will help try and get to your true feelings about it.
There are always improvements that can be done, and even if you’re stoked about your project, you can still be more excited. This card will give you something to consider to push it toward productivity.
There are certain things as writers that we just have to accept, whether it’s about our schedules and limitations, our current piece, or how we write. But we can embrace what we have to acknowledge, and in accepting it, we can alter it into a strength. This card tells you what you just have to embrace.
Right, so at this point you know where your mental state is, your writing state is, how and what’s blocking you. This is the next step to sort it all out and get you moving. This card is the Next Step.
I’ve always said, it’s not just that you read the cards, but it’s how you read the cards. Take a moment to look at the whole spread. After you’ve gone through the spread, make sure you look at the crossing paths.
You can look at Card 2 as a bridge between Cards 3 and 4, turning your blockage into a tool to assist you in altering your viewpoint of your WIP.
Likewise, you can view Card 1 as a stepping stone between Card 5 and 6.
If you’ve been following My Accountability on each of the 30-Day Tarot Writing Challenge spreads, you’ll note that I’ve been using the Trippin’ Waite Tarot. However, since this spread is more about me rather than my Work In Progress, I chose one of my decks that I use for personal readings, rather than creative readings. Thus, I used the Aquarian Tarot (in a Tin).
My mind set is the 2 of Pentacles. Oddly enough, I’ve been getting this card a lot in my readings for myself. Though, in this instance I don’t think it’s a matter of being balanced, but rather a demand for balance. I’m feeling like I am juggling too many things, and thus, I’m not putting much thought into my story. Because of this, I’m procrastinating, which has left me with far fewer words on the page than are needed to reach my goal in time.
My block is the 5 of Pentacles. I had a little bit of a ‘well, duh,’ moment when I got this card. Of course I’m feeling down about my WIP, I’m stuck and not making too much progress. However, I also see the 5 if Pentacles as a temporary stuck, and that if I keep moving forward and know that it will get better, then it will. The key to this is to keep on going.
I view my Work in Progress as the Ace of Wands—a new project. Well, please tell me something I don’t know! But it’s more than that. The Ace of Wands, while it can be a card yet to have negative or positive influences, is still malleable. It’s something that’s in a state of ‘is-ing’. It simply exists. It hasn’t been formed into anything good or bad yet, which means I don’t have too much of an opinion on it, which is absolutely true.
The Sun reversed is my advice for how to improve my view. I kind of took on the message of ‘make hay while the sun shines’ sort of message from that to couple with the warning that if I don’t get a jump on this, it’ll probably fizzle out. I can’t have that happening. So I need to make sure I regain my enthusiasm. I can have a deeper look at that later on.
What I need to acknowledge or embraces is the 3 of Swords reversed. The 3 of Swords to me is walking away from a difficult situation. There is hurt there, but it’s necessary. To reverse it in this position to me says to remember not to take this piece too seriously. While I’m not going to walk away from it, it isn’t anything that is going to break my heart if it isn’t a masterpiece or I can’t make it work. My heart and soul are not in this. So, use that to lighten up how I view the story, and just have fun with it.
My next step is the Hermit. I find that in this context, there are two ways I can look at the Hermit:
Unfortunately, situations such as Camp NaNoWriMo don’t really give you too much time for inner evaluation. So, I’ll aim for the first option and hopefully I can work on the second option along the way.
As I said before, I can take a deeper look at the crosses, and see what my more detailed path looks like. My transition from what I need to embrace and what my next steps are is Card 1: 2 of Pentacles. If I’m going to move forward and hunker down, I’m going to have to learn to balance everything, and make it work.
My bridge between how I view my WIP and how I can alter my view of it is the 5 of Pentacles. I just need to remember that this is a low point, and keep going any way, keep writing any way so that I can change the reversed Sun into an upright one.
How is your piece going? Have you managed to escape Writer’s Block so far? How’s Camp NaNoWriMo treating you?
Keep me posted in the comments on how your story is evolving, even if you’re not doing the spreads. I love to hear writers’ WIPs.
Here are a few helpful links: