(or proved evidences that creative block is really made up)
I’ll have to disappoint you straight away. The world is not as they show it in the movies. Chuck Norris didn’t kill the blindman with his eyes. Carrie and Big didn’t live happily ever after. Amnesia doesn’t affect everyone who hit their head on the table. Cars do not explode. Bullets kill. Hearts break. And creativity is not a fluffy thing that suddenly appears in the final scene when an artist, at a sudden sight of a child playing finds the part he missed and finishes his work within 5 days and 3 sleepless nights.
P.S. If you already want to believe in images you see on screen, go watch cartoons. Yes, Bambi’s mom (spoiler alert!) didn’t really survive.
Writer’s block, also known as a creative block, lack of inspiration or creativity crisis, is a specific phenomenon: a writer (or any other artist) is convinced that he cannot create and is stuck at the stage where he simply – doesn’t create. Writer’s block can last from several hours to several years and is usually described as a very painful thought that psychologically tortures your soul so writers (and all other misunderstood artists) often do alcohol, drugs, go gambling and find all other (stupid) excuses for non-writing.
Wait, wait – (an unsuccessful) writer is crying – what excuses?! I’m not able to create for months, and you’re laughing at me! Oh, sorry dear writer, did I offend your fragile little soul? Mechanics, bankers, waiters and dentists don’t have a block, so I wondered why would writing be the only privileged occupation that has a special name for reluctance and above all expect compassion?! Here, I’ll tell this as gently as I can: writers actually adore creative block! Because when you have a writer’s block, you don’t have to write. And you can enjoy the sympathy of others: oh, poor little thing, you are blocked again (btw just how many movies are on this topic)!
And musicians? And painters? And all other artists who are not abele to create?! Gordon Sumner said he couldn’t create for decades. And Lazar Ristovski said that he is almost ashamed that he is (was) an actor. And I’m laughing at such serious issues, shame on me. Ok. You found all the possible reasons for non-writing. Congratulations, it’s not so easy to find a good excuse. You probably had to spend hours going through the internet or talking to people who really understand your problem.
But I understand. The block ruined you so bad that you cannot even look at a pen, paper or computer. And the craziest thing is that the only one block can introduce you to a vicious cycle with other blockades that all encourage one another. So, maybe you are really stuck?!
The first thing you have to understand is – where does your block come from? What scares you? For example, the author of this (most phenomenal blog on this planet), couldn’t write for a long time because she thought that the things she once written (and they were really good) were epic, and everything that came after that was terrible. Luckily for me, I came across someone who said it’s completely idiotic to think that and that I just need to continue writing. The other thing that happens to people that have block is to compare themselves with other masterpieces of literature. And high criteria can really be your greatest enemy – the show hasn’t even begin and you’re already doomed. And do you really think that Tolstoy and Balzac sat in a bar and complain about the crisis (great scene btw)? Besides this, other causes for having a block may be a lack of inspiration, time, concentration, or even will.
Anyway, the problem is psychological in nature, which means that you have to overcome it consciously, with your willpower. It all starts in the head and ends in the head. So no, writer’s block doesn’t really exist. And you need to move your focus from getting sympathy to getting to writing. Because inspiration won’t come on its own.
I’ll tell you something else too. Writing is not a fun thing to do. You sit at the desk (mostly throughout the day). When you write, you cannot do anything else (unlike hairdressers or waiters who may, for example, communicate while working). You feel stiff. Your eyes are dry from the computer. And then you have to wait for an inspiration. But the only thing is, if you’re waiting for your muse to visit, it’s kind of like dating Monica Bellucci. You can never say no to her and she really only calls when she wants to. And then you’re not even sure whether she will actually show up although she said she will. And how will she behave when she comes – she can go within a second or keep you awake all night and leave you dead tired to go to your daily job until she stays in beed until 3 in the afternoon. In fact, in writing, the best you can hope for is a day when it goes a bit smoother than usual.
So what is the best way to get rid of your writer’s block? Listen very carefully now (are you ready?) – you take your left and your right hand (or just one, whatever is easier), you put them on the keyboard and you fucking write! Oh I know, it’s easy to say: oh, I have a writer’s block, I have to wait for my muse. But you don’t have to wait. That is, you cannot wait. This is Monica for God’s sake, she has better things to do than think about you and your book. She has to shoot movies and commercials and God knows what! While she’s not here, you have to do something else. Start writing. If I took a break every time I didn’t feel like writing or didn’t have inspiration, I would probably still be on the first page of my first story. Or this blog would only have 1 (unpublished) post.
Yeah, but I have a writers block and I really don’t know what to write! Ok, but if you have a block, it doesn’t mean you’re incapable of writing. Write anything. Write whatever you can think of. I don’t feel like writing. Today is a sunny day. This blog is so cool! Ana you are amazing. Whatever. Just write. What would you wish you can write? You’d like to write something awesome? Great, write that down (literally).
Basically, writers block is lack of inspiration and lack of motivation. That’s why you have to force yourself to write and soon, motivation, along with inspiration will return. Write as quickly as you can so you won’t be caught up with the demon who tells you all the reasons why not to write. If you can, run away from him with insane, frantic words, with no real awareness of writing. And just so you know, staring at the screen won’t help. You can look at the computer as long as you want, but nothing will be written on its own. Monica will not call. She’s Monica Bellucci after all. Do something smarter and write whatever while you’re waiting for her call.
Writing without inspiration is similar to getting up in the morning. Some mornings, you just cannot get up. You can’t. You’re thinking to yourself: what’s the point of all this?! You hate yourself. Then you hate the cruel world that makes you get up that early (it doesn’t have to be in that exact order). But you do it anyway. You get dressed. You brush your teeth. You make yourself look decent. You drink your coffee. And right there after that second zip, you somehow know, you’ll survive that day. It’s the same with writers block. At first, you’re going to curse whoever you can think of (including me and yourself). But (again around that second zip of coffee or second sentence), it won’t be so bad. And before you know it, creative block will be gone.
And if you’re still struggling with lack of inspiration and stranger’s voice is telling you that Monica is not available at the moment, change the way you think. Because if you’re writing only when you feel inspired, you are really just rewriting things you already know in a well known way. Lack of inspiration can make you write things you’ve even never dare to think before and to make new things up. You’re out of your comfort zone, you have no idea what to do, so you just write something you have never dream of putting down on paper.
Some of you might think, if I write while I don’t feel like it (and Monica’s not around), I will probably write crap. Yeah, so? Don’t be afraid to write garbage. You learn with your mistakes. And us writers have a great blessing called delete button where all the bad thing can be erased in matters of seconds. You will easily learn to be ok with your bad writing. For heaven’s sake nobody else knows about it – why do you even care?! Don’t run ahead of yourself. Why did you start to criticize before you even begin writing?! You are your only critic. And one really bad line is certainly better than a blank screen. Just write that shit down. Let it out of you. And what if (imagine this) you don’t write garbage and you end up writing something completely awesome. Because, from time to time, if you read what you think was bad the very next day, you will discover it’s not that stupid after all.
Also, it often happens that you are stuck in a particular part of the text. It’s ok, just skip that part and return to it later on. If you stubbornly insist to make a perfect scene that you find difficult at the moment, you won’t get anywhere. There is no law that you have to write (a book) in one particular order. Eliminate the need for perfection. You will have plenty of time to criticize yourself once you are done with writing.
We all know that writing (whatever) doesn’t work in a way that you open a blank page, start working hard for couple of days and then have it all perfectly done. I heard somewhere that the reason why writer’s block occurs lies in a fact in that organizing and writing are on different hemispheres of brain. So when the brain is trying to adapt to one side or another, there comes the chaos (and headache). I don’t know whether or not this is true, but I do know that the base of a (completed) writing is work. Therefore, you should turn off your mobile, warm up a chair and write without thinking about other things; distribute your time to time for writing and to time for other activities (such as writing organization).
As I said at the beginning, creativity doesn’t come by itself. There’s no magic trick, no 300 words rule or creative writing exercises. Simply put, you need to sit down, roll up your sleeves and write – whatever. The point is that you cannot get out of a creative block by thinking but instead you have to get out of writing block by writing. And if it happens again, you just go back to this post and read it again. And again. And write something in the comments – you might get rid of your block for good.
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