Writer’s block is like taking a piece of sludge, forcing it through a drinking straw using nothing but pure willpower and your neighbor’s dull shovel, smearing it onto an empty piece of canvas and then standing up to shout through the hills that everyone should come running to see the stunning painting you just created.
Only you’re painting stinks. Seriously. It’s nothing but an enormous, smelly, piece of sludge in the midst of the beautiful landscape of other beautiful canvasses out there. So you shut your mouth, throw away the canvas, and begin shoveling more sludge through your teeny straw.
The best part about my job is writing for this blog. When I sat in my writing classes in college, I never imagined that I would actually use creative writing as a part of my career. I always thought this whole writing thing would end with graduation, and my journal would be my only writing companion beyond the classroom. And I love it. I absolutely dearly LOVE it.
But blogging is equal parts enormous joy and desperate frustration. Even though it’s the best part of my job, it’s also the hardest and most painful, especially when my intimate friend Writer’s Block decides to pay a visit. Which can be quite often when you’re blogging five times a week.
But if there’s one thing that I’ve learned about dealing with that paralyzing blank landscape that is a writer’s block mind, you just have to put your head down, get your hands dirty, and work through it. There will be a LOT of sludge making before anything of substance comes peeking through. And for me, the worst thing about writer’s block is that nothing can force it to go away. It can last for a few hours or a few weeks. MONTHS even.
And all you can do during that painful process is bang your head against your desk, look the blank sheet of paper in the eye and declare, ‘I am doing everything I can here buddy. I am showing up. I am doing the work. So you could you PLEASE just meet me halfway?’