Image Source: Video Games Blogger
I know I posted not a word yesterday morning, which is rare. And it’s been eating away me, this guilt for letting myself down (for not sticking to my self-prescribed writing schedule, for slacking, as it were), and for letting my readers down as well, even though I’m sure the let-down was about as painful as walking across a sandy beach – maybe a little warm and uncomfortable, but nothing to cry about. I’m trying to let it go, because, after all, my current philosophy is Fuck It. I was feeling way too creatively drained to pull myself together, sit down, and write, and that’s just the honest truth.
Sometimes we hit roadblocks. I attribute it to being like a Mario Kart character who veers off the designated track and drives into one of the fake surrounding landscape forests, but then gets stuck banging against one of the 2D trees, and the person with the controller walks off and the controller gets snatched up by the family dog and hidden inside a pile of shoes in a closet in the basement never to be found again, so my little Princess Peach avatar is left to just keep trying to plow her car into the tree – BONK, BONK, BONK – for the rest of time, without the ability to get back on track.
How’s that for a visual?
Writer’s block is absolutely terrifying because it’s the inability to perform your craft. If your job depended on you being able to fly a plane, but you woke up one morning and realized you’d completely forgotten what any of the plane controls do or how to even put a helmet on, you’d be fucked. It’s the same thing with writer’s block, although admittedly far less life threatening. You sit in front of your computer and feel frustration and fear rise within your soul as you worry that you’ve completely forgotten how to string words together, how to make a point, how to express your thoughts – if you even have those anymore. Maybe you’re entering a coma? Your brain has completely stopped working and all that’s left is that weird busy dial tone you still get sometimes when you call a number that doesn’t have a voicemail box to jump to, like a tragic vintage relic.
There’s no real cure for writer’s block, although plenty of people will try to sell you remedies if you let them. Write for 30 minutes on paper without lifting up your pen! Go hiking! Meditate! Practice something else creative, like painting or playing guitar! Make lists! Do some stretches!
It’s a bunch of bullshit, in my opinion. Some days, you’ll be able to write. Some days you won’t. Some days you’ll invent the cure for AIDS. Some days you’ll spill all the chemicals all over the place and burn off your hand and get fired from your top-secret medical laboratory of employment. No matter what you’re doing, sometimes you’ll be able to perform at your peak, and you’ll feel like the most brilliant, gifted human being that ever lived, and some days you’ll bang into every table corner you pass and you’ll forget what day it is and you’ll have a pounding headache and everything will just feel hard and you won’t give a fuck about anything, you’ll just want to go back to bed and make it tomorrow already.
Don’t fight the ebbs and flows of creativity. It’s worthless to try and force something when it’s just not willing to give. And, as I’ve tried to illustrate in this post with my diverse examples, this advice doesn’t just apply to writing – if something isn’t working, allow yourself to be okay with letting it go.
Most importantly, go save Princess Peach and help her finish that race – whenever you feel compelled, of course.