Updated: Apr 12
Maybe it's cliche for my first blog post to be about writing, or a lack thereof. But who's kidding, writer's block is a real problem. I identify as a writer, maybe not the best, YET, but if you're a writer and you've never experienced 'the block', WELL... you have to leave a comment on this post and let the rest of us know your secret. If you have, what do you do to get around, through, over and under your writer's block?
This my latest recollection of writer's block:
June 14, 2019: Final days in China
I'm sitting here, lying rather, with absolutely nothing to do. No urge to clean, pack or even eat. "Write", he says to me. Little does he know that uttered word sounds foreign. I identify as a writer. Yes, I like to write, but do I know HOW to write?
1. went to school
2. can put pen to paper and
3. form coherent sentences
knows how to write. At least that's what most of us believe.
Don't be mistaken that writing and creativity come naturally to all writers; that documenting thoughts versus creating a poetic piece is a piece of cake. But that friend of mine said, "Just write". Just write what comes to mind. Just write what you're thinking or feeling. Just write anything. If you're anything like me, sometimes anything is a blank space, a white light. That's okay.
I say observe that blank space or blank page until something comes up because when I write I feel a sense of peace regardless of what's being written. There's just something about the friction of rubbing pen point against paper, watching ink flowing out of the nozzle, the way how words are flashed across a page that was once void. There's beauty in how those now visible words are formed from once abstract, unseeable thought processes.
"Writer's Block: a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece"
- Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
In other words, it's that demon that lurks in my consciousness, that only shows itself when I try to express the smallest ounce of creativity I can muster after years of hearing "You don't have a creative bone in your body", "This is boring", "Can't you come up with something better".
This can easily make a person give up a passion such as writing, which is exactly what I did. For a while, I stuck to reading. I became the little engine that - just didn't try so - couldn't. I found myself in unique experiences, unable to express them. I resorted to video snaps and pictures on my Whatsapp social media feed. I had a dream of creating a blog and never thought it possible because I honestly thought I had lost my one gift.
Lucky for me, I had motivational friends and their words helped a great deal. If you needed to hear this today, here goes:
"sometimes crap is good". So I started writing down all the crap that was a result of my attempts to record my thoughts
"There's nothing wrong with taking forever to get something together. George R.R. Martin currently has people waiting seven years for the conclusion of A Song of Ice and Fire (the series of novels that Game of Thrones is based on), so it's fine if you take long." It's your pace, your journey.
"Being a good writer doesn't mean you're going to have everything together immediately" and so I trusted time to help me grow.
There are so many successful people who take long... and maybe what seems like forever to express themselves the way they've always wanted to just like us or to excel in something they thought they weren't good at. Take a look at this.
Now, I'm not saying either one of us will be a multi-billionaire from pursuing our passions, but doing what you love can give you so much more than any amount of money or followers can offer. So be patient, don't be so hard on yourself and most importantly, Start Creating your Crap Now.
I identify as a writer no longer means I'm excellent at it.
It means that I've accepted myself and the level that I'm at.
I am a writer for me means I like to write, so I write.
So should you, whatever it is you want to pursue.