Today has me feeling a bit tired, and I know it’s not entirely from work. I took a nap, which turned into one of those naps so mighty it blocks out any alarm clock sounds. And so I awoke, groggy and slightly hungry, to what should be an evening of writing.
There’s a general malaise about me at the moment. With enough effort, I could probably banish it, but it’s one of those nasty little bastards that just sort of leaves me shrugging my shoulders and feeling generally apathetic. Chief among my complaints is being unable to find a comfortable spot to write in, which sounds a lot like a first-world problem. I briefly considered buying a desk, if only because I’m ready to throw my Surface 2 out the window and call it a night.
All of this complaining has a point. I promise. Two points, really, because it does serve as some small level of venting (which would be going much more easily if my godddamned mouse would stop leaping to places elsewhere on the screen). It also helps me get to the topic, which wasn’t the planned topic, for today’s post.
Day Nine – Writing and Headbutting a Wall (Aren’t All that Different, Really)
Writer’s block, or creative block of any kind, is a real bastard. No need to sugar-coat it. It’s the endlessly blank Microsoft Word document. The canvas that refuses to cooperate with an artist’s vision. The lyrics that leave a bad taste in a singer’s mouth.
I’m actually kind of proud of that last passage. Fuck. I wish I could think with that kind of clarity for my creative writing endeavors tonight. See what I mean? While I’d like to say that was staged, scripted for the sake of illustrating my point, I’m actually headbutting a bunch of ideas that just don’t feel like cooperating. It’s awful. I hate it. More importantly, I committed to one hundred days of consecutive posting, and this is the sort of thing I was hoping would somehow not happen at any point during that timeframe. I’ve lost count of how many times, over the course of writing this post, I’ve just sort of flopped over on my bed. Not defeated, but certainly considering surrender.
Mind you, surrender isn’t an option in this case, and so here we are. Be grateful you can’t hear the streams of expletives I’m spewing every so many minutes. They’re not pretty.
“But Phil, there are so many quick solutions to writer’s block,” you might say as you roll up in your gilded carriage constructed of good intentions and generic advice. There are indeed Google searchloads of solutions to creative block, and any specific variation of it has dozens of dedicated blog posts. Everyone has their own solution for becoming unstuck in their craft, and they’re willing to share that advice with the world (which is great, unless they’re sharing it in the village square from a hastily cobbled-together stage, suggesting such advice is also capable of fixing many other ailments).
What’s often overlooked, I’ve noticed, is that there are so many different pieces of advice on this topic, and that’s because everyone has their own way of dealing with hitting a wall. For one person, meditation for a set length of time might be all it takes, while for another person that would only further the frustration. That wasn’t intentional alliteration, by the way, but I’m not sorry for it (not the point). To try prescribing a fix-all solution to a problem that’s no less individual than any single person’s inner demons (unless we’re talking about people possessed by Legion, for they are many; haw haw) is silly, unhelpful, and irresponsible. Pushing people in a potentially helpful direction is good, but saying THIS IS THE WAY YOU FIX YOUR WRITER’S/ARTIST’S/ENTERPRETIVE DANCER’S BLOCK isn’t.
In any event, I think I’m going to wrap this post up and find some dinner before I resort to gnawing one of my limbs off. Tomorrow is a planned, self-inflicted writing marathon so I feel less guilty for failing myself tonight. Ninety-one days remaining.