Kick-Ass Cheerleader vs. Writer’s Block
This post is one of the painful ones. The harsh reality that calls us out on our behavior. That doesn’t listen to our excuses.
However, it’s the post that we all need to hear. It’s the tough love we need, that our friends and family either won’t give us because they don’t want to hurt our feelings or they don’t understand.
It’s not writer’s block, it’s you, it’s me, it’s all of us.
At the end of the day, it comes down to whether or not we’re “feeling it.” I mean that’s really what it boils down to. We sit in front of the computer and we’re pooped. We didn’t get a good night’s rest, we can’t think of what will happen next, we have to rework a section that we really don’t want to do.
Usually, we don’t want to rework something because it entails a lot more than one paragraph. If I change the location of the story, I have to go throughout and make everything else fall into alignment with the new location. It’s a pain, it’s boring, it’s extra work that I’d rather not do.
Yet, I know it will make the story better. So it needs to be done. My petulance however, throws a tantrum when I sit at the computer. “You will not think of a new place, you will not waste all this time.”
I think of everything else I need to do that day. I decide dishes are absolutely necessary and must go handwash them because I should give the dishwasher a break. Yes, I get that desperate.
When my husband asks why I’m not writing, I tell him it’s a case of Writer’s Block. He nods, stares, and waits for me to stomp my foot and admit I’m avoiding the work.
We’re Not “Feeling it”
If we’re not trying to avoid a hard task, then we claim writer’s block because we’re not “feeling it”. The words aren’t coming to us for whatever reason.
The problem here is that there are many things in life that we don’t “feel” at the moment. We roll out of bed early and we don’t “feel” like exercising. We don’t “feel” like planning a healthy meal.
What do we do when don’t feel like exercising or eating right? We either suck it up and do it because we need to, or we avoid it. And we avoid it with excuses. I’m too tired, I ran too far yesterday, I don’t have anything healthy in the kitchen (glares at box of oats), I don’t have anything in the kitchen that I want to take the time to fix. That donut looks great and all I have to do is open the box and insert into my mouth.
This isn’t just a comparison for exercise. This goes for amny jobs, a financial analyst may have to look over someone’s massively unorganized records and not “feel it” but she still has to knuckle down and do it.
An introverted cashier may not feel like dealing with the public, but she goes to work and sucks it up and tries to smile and pretend she hasn’t heard “XYZ store would give me a discount for that” forty times a day.
What to Do About Writer’s Block?
- Suck it up. (That’s what Kick-Ass Cheerleader told me this morning – she’s brutal).
- Start writing, even if it’s just gibberish. Then segway into questions: what do I need to write? What is the problem? what could I do about that? and repeat the questions until the brain is firing on all cylinders and your writing starts going.
- Do your chores during your writing time and write during your chore time. This is tough, you have to hold yourself accountable, but sometimes a switch of pace helps get your brain primed.
- Change your place. Go downstairs by the kitchen window, go to the coffee shop (oh right we’re quarantined – park in the coffee shop lot). Sometimes that just helps spark a different feeling.
- DO NOT CLAIM “WRITER’S BLOCK” AND GIVE UP. Everytime you give in to an excuse it becomes easier to give in the next time. Push through. YOU ARE STRONGER AND BETTER THAN THAT!
Okay, no more excuses! Get writing!
Two links to kick Writer’s Block