Being a driven writer is not an easy thing. Being a driven anything is not an easy thing. To be driven is to be self-motivated, and that means having energy and willingness outside of our jobs, schooling, or 'practical' obligations for a craft or passion that society does not require of us. Although it may only be a skill, or a profession that one pursues in spare time, it acts as a sort of spirituality if it becomes important enough to us. And like any spiritual life, it requires practice and dedication to be nurtured to full maturity.
Someone approached me this weekend asking if I knew any tricks around writer's block. I always think this is one of the strangest questions, because with the way people ask it, it's as if they are searching for a cure to some sort of foreign and mysterious disease that is simply unbeatable.
I assure you, any kind of 'block'--whether for writers or not--is as fictitious as the stories I write.
The block itself does not exist, but your mind does. Breaking it down further, what is rendering you incapable of focusing on one particular thing is a tangle of thoughts and worries that crowd your mind like a thicket in a forest. Removing this thicket is removing the 'block'. Giving your mind fresh air to breathe will encourage new movements--not only in the artistic realm, but in all aspects of life.
I do not believe that the problem is as much around the concept or idea of the block itself so much as the importance of organizing ourselves mentally.
Skipping several paragraphs about meditative practices, daily walks, and techniques for clearing your head, I think there is an overwhelmingly simple solution staring us all in the face:
If you want to become better at something, just practice it.
It is the most simplistic thing, and yet it easily forgotten. If we wait for weeks and months for the 'block' to fade away naturally, by the time it is gone, our hands will feel clumsy with whatever we were practicing. Of course, to exert ourselves for hours on a project without our hearts in it is to scare ourselves away from the natural motion of it; but to give up entirely is also too little. Is there a middle ground?
Just 15 minutes.
Whether you wish to improve upon a hobby or skill you are interested in, or you want to rededicate yourself to a spiritual practice, 15 minutes a day is an extremely easy goal that has empowering results. The worst part is, everyone has 15 minutes a day; this time, there are no excuses. You can be as crazy and irresponsible for all the other 1,440 minutes in your day, but for 15 of those minutes, slap yourself with cold water, take a deep breath, and focus on something that is important to you.
By the way, 15 minutes a day is 1.04% of your entire day. Just saying. That's like browsing my this website while you drink your morning coffee.