The unravelment of the writer’s block
It’s so straight-forward that although I’m doing something that I love, anything at all, has transcended into the perfect reflection of who I am, and, most of the times, I wind up doing the same thing, unanimously.
Even when you’re doing something that you love, it isn’t going to be a “different” thing forever. It’s definitely going to be challenging and exciting, but what about the times when you realize that you’re perpetually doing the same things most days of the week. I know you’re already familiar with writer’s block and you also know that every writer faces one at some point. And, a writer’s block can lead up to some frustrating times and, as a conclusion, produce hapless repercussions. I know you want to make beautiful things and instill what you create as art and as a part of your life, but when writers, especially those that create sentences out of thin air on a regular basis, can make living a miserable pursuit rather than a creative one trying to get out of the block.
I have ho-hum knowledge and experience in the field of writing, but as a dedicated writer myself, I’ve had moments when not even a single idea would pop up and I would eventually succumb to dismissing brainstorming and writing altogether and indulge in other activities like exercising, listening to music, watching YouTube videos online, and stuff along those lines. Granting all this, it’s important that you get out of your writing zone and indulge in other activities to distract yourself from the frustration, but if done consistently and each time you’re stuck, it can become an enslaving habit. Over a period of months (yes, months!), I realized that I’d gone a long time without forging new content and simply just reviving old ones again and again, making myself believe that I’m creating original content.
At such moments, even reading seems unremarkable and uninspiring because your brain isn’t getting the creative juices flowing in any direction.
That’s when I did this. And, to my surprise, it helped!
Interestingly, my job was to influence people to think and relate to my writing, which ultimately makes a good writer. But my scale of overcoming writer’s block had lead up to sloppy content pieces that even I wasn’t inspired to publish. I had the knowledge about my content pieces when I decided to write one and I had the resources, but the direction was missing and so was the first sentence of the article. That’s when I realized that writing isn’t my problem; it’s something much bigger than just writing new content. If I didn’t inspire myself to write, how would my content inspire or even remotely influence my few readers? Let me tell you about the little steps that I took to squirm my way out of a writer’s block and develop in mind new creative ideas.
I read. And I read some more.
I never stopped reading. Apart from what I did with my day, reading had taken a good chunk out of it, and all to my betterment. You can eliminate writer’s block just by reading wisely and profusely. I read all kinds of books and even those that I’ve never read or wanted to read before. In this chaotic world, I understood that reading was a different kind of noisy, something that felt more personal and soothing, at the same time. And it is in this chaos that many deny the gift of reading, but how can a writer write without reading anything? It’s the only block that a writer needs: to read and then to write. Books were my offline reading pursuit for quite some time and then, I juggled my time between reading umpteen collections of articles, blogs, guides, etc. that helped me accelerate my creative juices even more deeply. I began to experience everything around me with more curiosity and passion. Reading also put into gear something that formerly took me hours and sometimes days to accomplish: writing original and inspiring junk!
Also, I realized that not only did reading take care of writing new content, it encouraged me to bracket new words and sentences every day, no matter how short. Reading is also the best medicine to relieve stress and depression, even though you’re not stressed or depressed during that time. It imparts the ability to be open-minded and accept situations as they are. Between those fragile pages is a lesson that cannot and should not be learned elsewhere.
If you’re curious enough, you’ll find many talented writers who’ve embraced reading as their own and emerged as becoming the most creative and passionate writers. These are people who were frustrated of suffering through day and night with a writer’s block, figuring and failing uncontrollably to create new content. They found reading or better yet, reading found them. The fact that an experience so transparent yet widely misunderstood can lead humans up to such incredible moments is magical! The action of reading may be universal, but the experience and what comes out of it is unique to each soul.
Our approach of performance that soon translates into a profession will have made life a pursuit that the person sitting next to you is also willing to execute and deliver. The same difference between you and that person is as indifferent as the dissimilarity between day and night. And I realized this while reading.
I saw myself as a writer. I believed I was a writer.
And I become one. We’re so engrossed in attempting to learn what we learn to become what we love and in the midst of that, we forget to believe what we love. The moment I saw myself as a writer, it invigorated a sense of sensibleness in me to live up to who I believed to become. And from that moment on whatever I did was as a writer among many other things I did in the day that doesn’t define writing, but it’s an intrinsic part of it. I am writing this content piece as a writer and I even go to sleep as a writer. I can’t help it anymore, that’s just who I am.
But who said your soul can only be one thing?
I see myself as many things. And so can you. Be a human, firstly, not only in the biological sense because that’s self-evident, but be human in the conscious sense and then be multiple other things. It’s important to let your work define a part of your personality and that doesn’t mean that your work is before anything else, but that means you’re the outcome of what you do and you’re living life with it and not only for it.
There’s no need to wait for inspiration to become the insanely creative person you are and then get to work. Be that person all the time which includes the good times and the bad, the challenging times and the most simple and finally, during the sad times and the happy. What takes courage to walk from one destination to another takes the same amount to plunge into inspiration to walk from one idea to another.
I stole a few ideas from others. And I liked it.
I was never supportive of looking at another writer’s work just to steal ideas and reinvent them in my way. I just didn’t realize the bigger picture, but when I did, it changed my life. I extract new and different ideas from others and constantly kept changing them from one angle to another until I loved what I came up with. I even wrote a few content pieces that I wasn’t interested in writing, but I wrote them because it helped me broaden my horizons in terms of grasping new knowledge and accepting new idealities. I learned a lot just with the intention of stealing a new post and transforming into a more interesting one with my little anecdotes and variances. So, if you can’t come up with new ideas yourself just read others’ and refashion theirs. By studying other writers’ work, you can create useful and interesting content instantly. It is one thing to take ideas from other artisans, but it’s going to bring you nothing but frustration if you fail to make them your own. It’s great that you’re originating new content pieces by yourself, but let go a bit and let other writers inspire you into action. Let other people’s ideas and perception inspire yours and maybe even change it to something better and more meaningful. During this process, you’re likely to feel more motivated to create something better, especially after you’ve read someone else’s something.
You need to break away. You just need to dial down the creative juices and let go a bit to indulge in other activities. For instance, when I’m not reading, I’m either swimming, out for a walk or simply just sitting in my room in silence and being. It doesn’t matter that you’re doing nothing when you have something do or you’re doing something when you have nothing to do. The latter is impossible because if you’re resourceful enough, you always have something to do with your time. Each individual’s self-time is subjective so if you’re doing nothing even though you have something, it’s absolutely fine! You’re taking a break from not taking a break. Research suggests that humans are constantly spending their time and energy in something daily, forgetting that they’re supposed to be taking rest or spending time with themselves more often. Masturdating is the art of spending some quality time with yourself, so next time you’re hit by a giant writer’s block, exhaust in some self-time. Masturdating isn’t only a trait that introverts possess, even those who are socially active, meeting friends every day, going out during the weekends, partying, and all that, they, too, can master the art the masturdating and benefit from it immensely. Another compelling reason why you need to masturdate today is because it has the ability to draw out your future relationships, both professionally and personally. If you can spend time by yourself, you are capable of accepting what the world has to offer. If you can share with yourself moments of silence and idleness, you are capable of never having to feel uncomfortable around strangers. Taking time out to spend time for yourself can affect your emotional being a lot more than what you would expect. It encourages patience, understanding and motivates you to be better than what you were yesterday. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Being better.
And finally, having value amongst others.
A writer’s block had, to my surprise, made me feel all these things, all at once. I began to judge my actions every minute, criticize what I did as opposed to what I should have done at that time, and I desperately wanted to get smarter, have more value and be better. This drove me mad, frustrated and depressed. I lost meaning when, in fact, I had it in me all along. That’s what a writer’s block does to you. It makes you rethink the same emotion, feeling, and action again and again until you can write a whole 1000 words essay on it. One day I just hit stop, everything that I was fighting suddenly fade away into a small hole and I felt empty, but the sort of empty that had the space for new self-experiences, realizations, and knowledge. Spending some time with myself had me famished. I thought, expressed and conversed intently with an open-mind, which, just a few weeks back, seemed like an impossible thing to accomplish.
My close friend constantly urged me to meet him and spend some time with him to I get a break from work and myself. Initially, masturdating had got to me and I didn’t see my way beyond it, but soon it dawned on me that even though being friendless doesn’t bring me sadness or emptiness, it doesn’t mean I don’t care for those who care for me. Humans are given the gift of possessing meaningful relationships with other humans and that means that the bond one shares with another can mean so many things. I was denying myself that gift, not completely, but yes I was. Conversing with another human being who is completely different in terms of upbringing, experiences, personality and ambitions helped me untangle those straws with writer’s block. Research suggests and I approve that having one or two close friends, loving them and sharing with them a sort of a unique connection can pave the way for conversations that won’t leave you forever. Never let talk get cheap, but don’t always keep it biased towards what you do and what you like. Being a good conversationalist doesn’t mean you need to know everything to strike bonds with new people, it just means that you need to listen and keep your mind open to know stuff that you didn’t know before. It’s true when I say: in a conversation, you’re not only building new doors for the other person to enter, you’re passing theirs as well.
I stopped being a perfectionist.
According to popular research, there is a close relationship between being a perfectionist and losing the ability to be more productive. It’s often misunderstood that creative individuals get more done because they’re experts at what they do and because of that expertise, they get things done quickly. That’s not true. I struggled as a perfectionist; it wasn’t that I wanted to give my 100% at everything, the struggle was that I wanted everything I did to be 100%. Once I let go of that, it all changed. I stopped struggling with my writer’s block because I just wrote and discovered that, in moments, there’s more to learn than just learning, it’s in practicing the art as well. Downtime with “perfectionist” attitude helped me realize my problems and instead of working harder and failing, I focused on the tasks at hand and produced the most results and forgot about the rest. Now, it’s about the depth of life and not the mileage.
Also, you can read this article on my website, here.