When You’re Stuck, Try Reducing the Frame

Sometimes the big picture can be enjoyable to look at, inspiring to watch.

Sometimes looking at things in a big scale: global, universal, internet-sized, can be daunting.

Intimidating even.

Rather than fretting about how to live up to the demands of the bigger picture you might find it easier to shift perspective and reduce the size of your frame.

It's All in the Frame

We’re using frames all the time, even if you’re not consciously aware of so doing.

You use a frame when you’re taking a photo of an image, a person, a place, a moment.

A blog post works in the same kind of way: a frame around an idea, a set of thoughts, a story, an incident, something you want to package up, share, organise, and yes, frame.

(More on blog posts and framing here: 10 ways to frame your words.)

A blog site is another kind of frame again: a container for a whole series of thoughts, stories, questions, provocations, conversations and reflections, organised, however loosely around a theme or organising principle, even if that’s simply: you.

That frame can be adjusted.

If you feel your scope is too small, if your writing is getting constricted: you can make the frame bigger. I suspect this happens fairly naturally for most of us - it’s something you can and will do organically, over time.

There might be other times though when the scope seems too big and then, like I said, just a bit too difficult to handle, too hard to get your teeth into.

I realised that I’d fallen foul of this same trap myself.

In working my way back into this site I’d set up the writing task - the writing frame  - in too big a way to be meaningful, too daunting to be doable.

This is one of those occasions when I’m glad to have a healthy blog archive: I knew I’d find the answer in there somewhere ;-)

I figured that the best way to generate more ideas for writing that would be interesting and enjoyable both for me and (hopefully) for you was to follow my own advice and reduce the frame. Pick one or two aspects of the big task, and focus on them, and see what opens up. (The answer: lots.)

As for what appears through the window… wait and see.

Photo Credits: Joanna Paterson - frames at Broughton House, Kirkcudbright


    • January 23, 2012

    Oooh… I couldn’t resist leaving a comment when you tell me you’ve reopened comments here, Joanna!

    I love frames and the power of being able to zoom your focus in. Sounds perfect, and perfectly you. Manageable and intriguing indeed… and just what I need! xx

    • January 23, 2012

    @Karen Wallace: Thank you for paying such close attention :-) Things feel a lot more manageable and enticing now I’ve reduced the frame, and most definitely intriguing. Thanks for all your support!

    • January 23, 2012

    I’m working on this exact thing right now. I’m trying to re-frame my writing. I’m attempting to make it less daunting. Great post so full of good advice. Thank you.

    • January 28, 2012

    @Nancy’s Point: best wishes with making it less daunting… and letting the words flow in the newly framed container.

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