You're No One-Trick Pony
Quit worrying about running out of material to write about.
I used to worry that one day I would wake up with no ideas and have absolutely nothing to write. I imagined that a single day of not writing would become three days, and three days would snowball into three months. And then, I’d die. Destitute in the streets because I ran out of new ideas.
Nah, I'm not too dramatic... ahem.
Over the past year or so I’ve learned it isn’t the lack of topics that will ruin me. It's the waffling. Just the sheer amount of ideas in my head that are all vying for my attention at once?
I can’t write fast enough.
See, there’s this “secret” about my writing that I thought people already knew.
I don’t have any brilliant ideas. In fact, I exclusively write about the ordinary and mundane things.
If you write honestly about boring, everyday and human issues, you’ll never have to worry about keeping up with your story. Not to mention shocking your audience. Nobody can catch you in a lie or genuine snafu if you stay true to you.
And no matter how boring your life may be, you will never run out of material.
A lot of people talk about writer’s block, but I don’t believe in it. There’s no such thing as delivery driver’s bock. Or teacher’s block.
“Oh, I wish I could go to work today, but I’m blocked. Too bad.”
That’s not how life works.
The truth is that creative people, like writers, prefer to work in the “flow.” We don’t have a ton of patience for writing outside of flow and so we claim a block.
It’s not us. It’s that damn muse.
In the same vein, a lot of us look at creativity like it’s some well that inevitably runs dry. But there’s no reason it has to be that way.
If you want to keep producing great art, you have to accept that 1.) you must keep producing, and 2.) you’ve got live with the fact that not everything you do can be well-received.
That’s completely natural.
You should stop treating yourself--and others--like a one-trick pony whose creativity well is about to run dry.
There’s no need to come up with incredible ideas all the damn time. You can honestly just be yourself.
Write whatever the hell is on your heart. Write about everything that really matters to you.
It’s your life.
You get to talk about it.
Besides, humanity is relatable.
Ultimately, it doesn't matter what you write about. The why and how matter more.
For instance, I'm having a bad weekend. I had planned to write like crazy this weekend to reach a personal goal. And then I ran into some personal-slash-career conflict that felt pretty yucky. I ordered meat for my whole... keto diet (heavy sigh) and was super annoyed with the service. Overpriced and overrated. Poor substitutions.
And then my 4-year-old puked her milk all over me.
So I sat in the bathroom writing this story and wishing for just a moment of peace. Not just quiet, but peace.
The truth is that I am full of ideas and stories. But I only have so much energy to get it all out.
My writer's soul gets tired.
And it’s not a matter of writer's block or running out of material. It's just life.
But you know what?
At least that's human and relatable.
And it's proof that I am not a one-trick pony. But neither are you.
As long as we are still alive, we have nothing but our stories to relate to one another. So give yourself (and the creatives around you) a break.
Just keep writing.