I’d often wondered about writer’s block. It seemed everyone added their version or opinion on the topic. Somehow the inability to put words down on paper had eluded me. Knock wood. I actually didn’t want to read too much on it, certain that I might be asking for trouble- in my slightly superstitious way. Then it happened. I recently had a short bout of writer’s block and now I feel prepped to share my own perspective. This is what I came up with.
Finally reaching the long awaited and, simultaneously, dreaded year of 2012- yes, I was one of the Mayan calendar scaredy cats, I had some new ideas tooling around in my head. One of these ideas is the start of my new monthly Spiritual Sightings category. It may sound easy but it actually isn’t. Having particular beliefs and sharing them, with the potentially always present controversy when others mix up spirituality with religiosity, held me in the hesitancy mode.
Last week I decided to go forth, sucked in my breath and went to take pictures for my new monthly series. I went to two sites that I’ve been considering but was unable to take action. Just taking a picture and inserting it into a blog post isn’t exactly what I want to do. I’d rather talk to any of the people who are involved with the site that I’m sighting. It may not happen all the time. Sometimes nature will just show her beauty to me and I’ll press the button on my camera. I turned around, went back to where I started and returned to my computer. I tried to figure out a blog post since I hadn’t had the courage to ask the proprietor of the store if I could snap a picture of the spot I had in mind.
That’s when I was struck by a case of writer’s block. I couldn’t think of anything to write. After a few false starts, I realized I was so stuck because I was blocking the creativity of my artistic side with a few intellectual thoughts. My right and left brains were certainly not in sync. I was being a coward in my writing process and in sharing the thoughts and visions that I really wanted to bring forth. I was standing in my way. It’s not always easy to introduce myself to people I don’t know. I’m a moderate introvert. To ask for something while providing assurance I want nothing in return is something that even I sometimes think is “fishy.” I took a deep breath, pushed myself out of my way and went back to the site I had in mind. Walking in to the store, I just said hi. That was easy enough and the dialogue began. After taking a few pictures I again returned to my computer and the words flowed. Simple. That old saying, Keep it Simple, had its impact- yet again.
I’d hit the trifecta of life: Awareness, Acceptance and Action. Blocking myself as an instrument of writing with critique, self-doubt and insecurity was the reason I couldn’t write. The idea of being stagnant was much more uncomfortable than doing something to change the situation. Going beyond myself and my anxieties by taking action, I’ve been writing pretty fluently. Facing the issues of fear and anxiety was the antidote to a short but nasty case of writer’s block.
What makes you clam up in front of the computer?