Writer’s Block Or Life Block?

typewriterrrr.jpgI was reading Writing Magazine a few days ago and came across an article about writer’s block. It’s something I have always struggled with. I go through phases of no writing at all and I always blame it on writer’s block, I either have too many ideas and can’t seem to pick one or unfortunately, sometimes, I have no ideas at all.

I’m sure all writer’s can relate to this, the ongoing struggle to get the beautiful poetic voice in your head to somehow find its way to the page, to find the right words and put them in the right order and to finally turn an idea into an actual story. However, I’m starting to realize, after reading this article mainly, that it may not be writer’s block.

Every writer has their ‘perfect mood’ to write. Some wait until the world is falling apart around them to finally get a poem on the page and some have to be in a happy state of mind to even consider putting pen to paper. I am the latter. I’ve been through a lot of personal struggles and during this time, I haven’t been writing. Now I feel I am moving away from the shadows and finally feel myself again, I want to write.

Strange isn’t it? Maybe I was intentionally choosing to let life block my writing muse? The events of my life were forcing me to ignore the writer in me. I was so focused on just getting through each day and understand the range of emotions I was feeling. I was failing to do the one thing that helps me get through almost anything and that is to write about it.

I feel like my ongoing battle with depression and anxiety has not only killed my happiness, but my confidence too. I had no belief in myself that I could write anything good, so I didn’t write at all. Silly really. I shouldn’t care if my writing is good or not, I should do it because it’s what I love to do. Only now that I am on the other side of a long, dark tunnel, do I actually see what I have been doing all of this time.

Now, I don’t know if this feeling of being myself will last. So I’m going to make the most of it. My typewriter is sitting on my desk, waiting for me to carve words from my mind and piece together something beautiful. I’m going to do what I do best, I’m going to write and no amount of self-doubt is going to stop me, not this time!

Advertisements

The Muse & Me

writinggirl

Credit: Oprah.com

I’ve always had a turbulent relationship with my writing muse. I’ve been struggling with writer’s block for two years. After graduating with my degree in Creative Writing, I decided to give my writing brain a rest. I had spent the past three years juggling poetry, stories, scripts and essays in my mind, so I simply stopped. The problem was, I didn’t know how to get started again.

I’ve made so many attempts over the past two years to get into the habit of writing regularly. After a while, I realised that forcing myself to write was only decreasing my enjoyment for it and I should just let go and wait for my muse to return when I was ready.

Well, now I’m ready. I woke up one morning with an idea burning at the front of my mind. I couldn’t get to my notebook quick enough! I thought it was a fluke, but a few days later, I started writing in my pink journal, which is a mixture of poetry, story ideas and random thoughts that inspire me.

The ideas started to pour out of me effortlessly. When I didn’t think too much about when I would start writing again, my mind was clear enough to allow ideas to develop. I have a large stack of Writing magazines to read and without even thinking about it, I have started to make my way through them. I’ve also decided to print off the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo in 2014 and edit it. I am reading and writing again and I couldn’t be happier.

There’s a small part of me that has been missing for the last two years. I am a writer and although I have been occupying my mind with other things, getting a job, relationships, family, friends, starting my own magazine and discovering my love for teaching, I feel whole again now that I’m writing stories and coming up with new ideas.

When my writing brain is active, I feel like a child again. I cast my mind back to the excited little girl, sticking out her tongue as she scribbled stories in Woolworths notebooks and I smile. Not a lot has changed. I’m all grown up now but the burning desire to create stories is still very much a big part of who I am. I allowed ‘real life’ to grab my attention for a while, but now that I am in a place of contentment, I am ready to make room for writing again.

Writing Manifesto

writers-block
Staring at the white, hoping for
words. Hoping for salvation.
Wanting to give up. Breathe in
and out and close your eyes – relax.

Stand up and go for a walk, let
the blood flow around your body,
let it feed your mind. Let time
give you the power, let time
give you strength.

Remember that every thought
is important. Just write anything.

Sit back down with freshly peeled eyes.
You can do it. A few words, a phrase,
a fragment of a poem or a
stream of consciousness.

Remember that writing is a muscle.
It needs to be exercised daily.
Overusing the muscle can cause
injury. Not using the muscle
enough  can cause a build up
of negative energy of
‘I can’t do this.’

You can. You can do this.
Just write. Write anything.

Think of your words as reps, your
paragraphs as sets, your pages as
daily workouts. Writing is good
for your health.

 Think of your laptop as
the key to your imagination.
Explore the web for inspiration
but warning: this may cause
procrastination. You might
take a step backwards.

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz these
letters are your best friends, use them.
In any form that you like. You are in
control. Let your subconscious mind
open up to the possibilities of a blank page.

When you see the black and white bouncing
off the page – you will feel childlike once more.
Creating places, spaces – whatever your heart
desires. Just write. Don’t even think about it.

Mark Twain once said, Show, don’t tell.
But it is okay to tell all in a first draft.
This brings hope to the senseless mind.
This creates a story before your eyes.

Go back now and cut words, remember
that words don’t bleed. Words don’t have
feelings – so no attachments. Just cut.

Feel proud. Don’t discourage yourself.
Just re-write.. re-write and re-write
some more. Until the words bond with
the image of your imagination.