As one my assume, I’m writing a blog post to procrastinate from doing any real writing.
I heard somewhere not too long ago that the Stoics believed that if you ever had a problem of writer’s block, it meant you were forcing your body to do something you shouldn’t be doing. There are plenty of people who write constantly chiseling words into stone tablets or whatever the Greeks used. That if you had writer’s block, that meant you were not suppose to be a writer. You know that. The powers that control the universe know that. You cannot ignore it.
I tend to agree with the Stoics to some extent. I think if you stare at a page long enough waiting for inspiration to smack you over the head with a frying pan, you’re liable to end up with egg on your face. The same is true for those who always say “I have a really great idea for a book…and I’ll write it someday when I have time.” They are the worst sort of procrastinators with writer’s block. They don’t even have the energy to commit to writer’s block, let alone typing anything out.
There is no such thing as writer’s block! This epiphany came to me rather recently. Whenever I get what I think is writer’s block, one of two things are playing out.
One, I might actually have no idea where to take my story. I’m lost. I don’t know what my characters would do in the situation I stuck them in. Well, when I have that problem I either say F’ it and start typing everything that comes to mind. I can always go back and delete. I can’t really go back and edit if the page is blank.
Or two, I’m beating myself up and my internal critic is winning. When this happens, I do one of two things. Either I go have some chocolate and tell my internal critic to have some chocolate and shut up! Or I argue with that internal Dark Passenger right where I sit, slap him around a bit, and continue writing.
This all is not to say I never get stuck. Oh, that happens frequently. I’m a terrible writer and I know this. Adding insult to injury, I have no formal training in writing fiction. That’s two strikes. Add a third of too many drugs in high school and early pre-college years, and I have a brain that just doesn’t wanna work most days.
That said, I don’t hide behind writer’s block anymore. I never give the excuse that “I didn’t have time to write” or “I can never think of anything good to write about.” You should NEVER have no time to do the things you love. You can have no money to do stuff…but never have no time to do something you love. And, that second one, the “I can never think of anything good to write about?” Yeah, even the boring imagination I have has created decent stories. Sure, they’re not as fantastical as some. But they are interesting, pointed, and creative nonetheless.