... Writer's Block
written by: Phyllis P. Colucci
Writer's Block! What is it exactly? Let your imagination roll a bit. Just think of those two words and see what you come up with. Is it a paperweight? Is it a desk ornament? Is it just an ordinary block of wood used to write on? Is it some sort of a block for writers to lean on? Is it a city street named for writers? - Perhaps you live on "Writer's Block"? No, it's actually a temporary ailment that incapacitates writers at one time or another.
Ask yourself, "Do I have 'Writer's Block'?" Do I need medical or psychiatric intervention for this ailment? Can I cure it? Is there a cure?
"Writer's Block" is a temporary roadblock in your mind. It's an obstacle that stifles you in a maze of pathways within your own brain. It paralyzes your thought process. It robs you of the ability to create great stories, develop strong characters, and exist in "their" world while you set the wheels in motion and control every darn thing that's happening in that world. Once you can get back to accomplishing all of that again, you will soon be able to leave "Writer's Block" in the rearview mirror of your mind; as you drive off with your new masterpiece in tow, ready to introduce to the world a fabulous short story/novel that will take them by storm.
Now that we have that out of the way - two questions you must ask yourself. Where does "Writer's Block" come from?- and how can I cure it?
In my opinion, "writer's block" comes from daily stress, all sorts of stress (financial, family, personal). Disorganization in your life and mismanagement of your time will add to your stress. Spreading yourself thin on a daily basis in order to attend to everyone's needs but your own will surely interfere with your creativity. You decide what's causing your stress. Identify it and embrace it. Hold it close until you can annihilate it.
How do we annihilate our stress in order to rid ourselves of "Writer's Block"? First we need to understand that "writer's block" is always there. It's behind us, in front of us, above us, and around us. Can we ever rid ourselves of "writer's block"? I don't think so. It just comes with the territory. However, I believe we can try to keep it at bay and/or control it once it reaches us, by controlling what's going on in our personal lives.
In order to accomplish this, let your friends and family know that you need some "alone" time. If it helps you, then set a portion of each day aside where you can be totally committed to your friends and family. Then be sure you set time aside for "you" as well. After you've organized your bills, finished the food shopping, managed your everyday responsibilities, gotten a babysitter (if necessary) - just find that space where you can be alone to think. You MUST do this, in order to create and begin to write. You may NOT allow any family or friends (partners, spouses, kids included) to enter that space and interfere with your privacy; nor may you make or accept any phone calls that will break your momentum. You must become a dedicated "loner" in order to accomplish this; and your friends and family must respect that.
When you're finally in your private space, sit back in a comfortable chair; close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax. If you happen to have a cup of coffee, tea, or maybe a glass of wine by your side, well that's a win-win situation. A win for your well-being, and a win for your creativity. If there is an open window in your space, look out and see what moves you, see what tickles your senses. Maybe it's a sweet tiny bird flying by, or a garden filled with colorful flowers and perfumed scents; maybe it's the winter snow that's beginning to fall beneath the moonlight; maybe it's the autumn winds blowing the leaves off the trees, which dance past your window; or maybe it's the aromas from someone's backyard barbecue that excite you. Find that special something that sets your heart and mind on fire. Find that special something that takes you by the hand and leads you right back into your fantasyland...where suddenly you come alive again; where suddenly you begin to magically write; where suddenly you become possessed by the most beautiful words and phrases ever heard; where suddenly you realize you have left your "writer's block" in your rearview mirror. Carry on my friends. Be successful. Write...create...share! Good Luck!
Before I go, I'd like you to know that I get "writer's block" too sometimes. I think I have it now. It creeps up on you when you least expect it. It's like the flu. Once it takes hold of you, it doesn't let go. The fever gets worse by the hour. But have no fear. Take control and you will survive. Like a nasty old flu, it will pass. You just need to fight it like a warrior.
...I think it's time for me to find my private space and look out my open window, to see what's out there that just may shake me back into the world of "creativity". Ciao my friends! We'll talk soon.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
Don't let "Writer's Block" bring you to your knees, like a nasty old flu. Fight it like a warrior. It will pass, and you will win. Happy writing!
I retired from a Supervisory/Admin position with a Federal Law Enforcement agency in NYC, a few years back.
Presently, I am pursuing my passion for writing, and most of my writing has that New York edge.