Writer’s Block: An Inability To See

Feb 9, 2016 | Writing

I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out what to write a post about, asking myself – what do I personally want to talk about – and continually coming up blank! And then I had a conversation. The answer was right there for me to see, but I was unable to see it. Writer’s block. I think I may have talked about it before as a part of another subject but given the circumstances, I think it deserves its own post.

When I look at an an empty page, there’s a chance that I’ll feel a sense of panic or dread. The chatter in my head pretty much boiling down to what now? Sometimes it’s just a passing insecurity, and during those times, the minute I start typing everything is fine. Other times it’s more serious, and during those times I just need to do something, anything other than write because all I’m going to accomplish is uncontrollable sobbing at the keyboard and get a real fucking job you loser on repeat in my head.

I’m kinda kidding, but not really.

All the advice I’ve read says that walking away is never a good idea. For me, walking away is the best idea. In my experience, writer’s block is the inability to see what’s right in front of me. No matter how long I sit and stare, and try – nothing’s gonna happen because I can’t see it and no amount of trying is going to make me see it.

Moving the story from the ether to the page is all about being in alignment.  Simply put, am I aligned with the story? If I am, there is very little actual thinking involved. I know where I’m going and the words come providing the means to get there. It’s like crossing a stream – the correct words appear like stepping stones, laying out a path to the other side. When I’m not in alignment I know where I want to go but it’s impossible to get there. The stepping stones either stop mid-stream or they go absolutely nowhere. When that happens it’s best to just get out of the stream and watch a movie, take a nap, take a walk – anything else – because the more I try the more frustrated I’ll become.

The conversation I had that led me to this post is a perfect example. I had stopped beating myself up about not having a topic to write about, next thing I know I’m having a conversation and BOOM idea. I had to get out of my own way for something to happen. Creativity is an active thing, she loves to surprise and delight – we’ve just got to get out of her way.

If you’re one of those people that can power through writer’s block – more power to you. If you have a tendency to beat yourself up because of it – STOP. Go play. Your writing will happily greet you when you get back, I promise.

I leave you with The Veil – a delicious horror movie starring Jessica Alba, Lily Rabe, and Thomas Jane – 25 years after a religious cult commits mass suicide, the sole survivor goes back to the scene with a documentary crew. Lovely twist on ghosts, hauntings, and the dogma surrounding the cult. Beautifully shot as well. It’s on Netflix and Amazon Prime (to rent or buy).


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