Here is the thing about writers block: it is not real. It does not exist. When you give such a term power, then it can take hold, intimidate and cause hesitation through fear.
Think about dreams, the way our mind must sleep in order to process, think about how our bodies and minds need to rest. If you have a healthy writing habit, perhaps you need a break. The words will come.
Traditionally I sort through my thoughts and feelings best through writing yet there are times when ideas and feelings cannot be put into words yet. I have to give myself space to “write around it,” meaning write about something else, anything else, or embrace moments of not writing. Breaks are part of a natural process, normal as breathing. We are unable to steadily breath out, we must also breath in.
In these times, the work is to remove the pressure. I write poetry mostly, and recently began to write prose about some highly personal subject matter. I began to feel friction with the pressure of keeping up on a steady blogging schedule rather than allowing my own natural process. I was further thrown off by what my reader’s expectations might be of who I am as a highly emotional and personal human as opposed to an outgoing writer.
Although it is always good to consider the audience, it can sometimes cause paralysis. In these moments, instead of stopping, I write about anything else without the pressure to produce on a certain topic. This is how I write my way out of hesitation. It is through the practice of free writing that my finished pieces evolve.
Also, while there are moments and topics too much to write about straight away, there are also moments that happen DURING the writing process that can cause a piece to take longer to finish or to share. For example, the last prose piece that I wrote took something out of me, as mostly all my writing does, that’s why it matters. But that’s also what makes it difficult. I will often finish a piece and then have to be alone and rest. Writing can be exhausting.
Accepting that every mind needs breaks and taking them is the best thing for my writing. But also, I continue writing about everything that strikes me, every day. Keeping busy and changing up my schedule if at all possible, having new experiences and connecting with new people is key.
It is a way to live and be in the world. For me, it is an act of love. (yes, hippie-talk). It is a way to embrace wonder and enjoyment of life, as well as a way to survive all of the darkest moments. Creating something is a productive way to pull myself out of heartbreak or tragic moments. Writing creates moments of learning, the opportunity to share that experience with others, and to connect in a meaningful way.
This definition of writing as a complex and varied process, which includes taking breaks, can alleviate the stress brought on by the idea of writers block and hopefully eliminate it altogether.
This post can also be found at the Qua website! Check it out and submit your writing or artwork while you are there: