Wrestling with “Writer’s Block” - Slaying the Third Dragon
Yes, I realise there’s an immense irony in my releasing this after weeks of absence. It would appear I experienced my own mini “writer’s block” with these blogs. Hopefully I can make it up to you. Oh and for the record, writer’s block is only what us writer’s call this dragon, but it crops up just about everywhere. Call it musician’s block, sport’s person’s block, whatever. It’s still there.
Are the quotation marks in the title too on the nose? The truth is, I think writer’s block is a broad term, an umbrella that covers several emotions that hinder us from writing. It’s definitely not a physical or mental condition in itself (although that’s not to say it can’t be cause by one). Sometimes it stems from boredom, sometimes lack of enthusiasm, sometimes lack of inspiration. I guess it’s a three headed dragon, the King Ghidorrah of our inner demons (am I allowed to write that without a copyright strike?). So, let’s get to it then. How do we slay this nasty dragon?
Lets start with boredom. There’s no easy way around this, especially in a world where our brains are fired up by everything around us. But here’s an idea for you:
Picture yourself in a year or two, holding or reading or watching your work, smiling. You see it? It’s a nice dream right? Well it could be a reality, so long as you endure through that boredom. Oh, you’re not bored anymore? I guess not, because what’s not exciting about manifesting your ideas into reality. Remember what you’re doing here. You’re not just putting words or bits of paint down on paper, you’re not just looking down a lens or hitting some keys. You’re conjuring worlds and feelings, lighting up the hearts of anybody who chooses to view your work, filling their lives with excitement, learnings, meaning. There’s nothing boring about that.
Maybe you’re not enthusiastic. Lack of enthusiasm’s nasty but completely common. Maybe that idea’s taking far too long to hit the page, or a new idea’s come along to tempt you. Unless you’re determined your current project is a mess, a great mistake that you did for other reasons that your passion for creation, then stick with what you’re doing. This current section of your work may be difficult, but I swear to you you’ll find enthusiasm again in the most unlikely of places. Remember why you sat down to do this in the first place. Remember that golden first idea. Then maybe that feeling will return to you once again.
As for inspiration, all I can tell you is that not all of your work will come to you in some Eureka moment. Sometimes you’ll have to rack your brains to figure something out, or you’ll have to write with no sense of passion or clue for where you’re going. It can be gruelling, confusing stuff, but that’s okay. So long as you write something you can keep going, and whatever it is you lack inspiration for, you can come back to it later on.
There’s a common theme for all three of these struggles and it’s this: keep going. Endurance is key my friend. You’re not always going to be madly in love with what you make, but if you truly believe it’s the story you want to tell or picture you want to paint or whatever it is then you need to commit to it like you’re married to the damn thing. It’s no use jumping from idea to idea, never settling, never finishing anything. You projects are screaming to be made. Listen to their screams and push through that “writer’s block,” or whatever block it is you’re facing. You can do it.
- Threap :)