Thoughts on writer’s block
Opinions about writer’s block vary. Some say writer’s block doesn’t exist while others suffer through it.
I’ve read about causes of writer’s block, such as fear of failure or perfectionism, and solutions such as taking a break or reading a book.
Before you claim to have writer’s block, consider what is going on for you. What are you resisting? Are you tired? Hungry, perhaps? Impatient? Afraid of success?
This label is a mental block to creative thinking. Instead of trapping yourself behind a label that becomes more prominent when you focus on it, be curious about what is happening instead of the writing that is not happening.
A mountain of attitude
Last January, I was anxious to move from my cozy apartment on Bowen Island to the island’s Cove, closer to amenities. Living on an island with rolling hills and steep terrain, without a vehicle can be challenging.
Weeks prior to moving, every time I hiked up that mountain with my mail or my groceries, I wondered how many more times?! I dragged myself along, laboriously and breathless, feeling like the mountain had grown and frustrated because what had once been an enjoyable hike had become an imposition. You could say that I was lugging more than my groceries on my back. Who knew a bad attitude could weigh so much.
Nonetheless, I was surprised by how quickly I scaled the incline, despite feeling weighed down. This didn’t add up, but it made me curious. On some level, I wanted it to be hard because it gave me something to push against.
The mud and the muck
When I delved into my curiosity I realized the tough climb had nothing to do with exertion and everything to do with attitude. Obviously, the hill hadn’t grown and after more than a year of this practice, I was fit for the climb. That’s how effective attitude is. I was feeling physically exhausted while under the influence of the heaviness of my mind.
When you’re a writer, the world you create in your mind often seems more real than the world you live in. The lines between fantasy and reality can muddy and suck you in. Despite the muddiness, a writer’s journey is all about breaking new ground and celebrating the breakthroughs.
“The paths aren’t always clear but they are well worth trodding…even when there is mud and muck.”
Are you ready to roll up your sleeves?
Photo Credit: Davina Haisell