Recently I joined a group of bloggers who help each other through hurdles like Writer’s Block.
It’s something that can impact most anyone. Sometimes the subject matter is elusive. Occasionally, the words just don’t come. Other times, those words come together in disjointed sentences which need so much rework that it almost seems like a lost cause to do so. Any of those situations can put a writer into terror, especially the professionals. If it happens a lot, the notion of writing down anything becomes a painful point. It’s easier to sit and read the writings of others than it is to craft something of your own.
But life shouldn’t always be easy.
Just because writing can be hard doesn’t mean we give up. I’ve been writing for a long time, and started in short stories and then free-form poetry. I can think of maybe a dozen times since 1978 that I’ve had trouble coming up with a subject or sentence. It happens. I go around the obstruction and move on. Sometimes it means changing the subject, while other times it’s a matter of approaching the subject from a different side.
Two things made me more prolific: The ability to type at the speed of my thoughts, and blogging.
When I first began to write it was by hand. I thought so quickly that I would create incomplete sentences and miss words, because my brain assumed I had already written the words down. My fix for that was two fold: First I would write anyhow, and do it as fast as I could regardless of spelling or mess. Second, I would transcribe to good paper with my Mom’s Royal typewriter; from that I developed a fast-hard strike that I retain to this day. I can’t believe the keyboard on my computer at work has survived my beating for the last 5+ years!
I discovered blogging about six years ago, and was taken in almost immediately by the medium’s ability to compose and post quickly.
I now post on several of my own blogs, each one based on my interests. In the last month I’ve shared deeply about my mother-in-law’s final days and then her passing in late August. It was a therapeutic time for me, because after writing about it I heard from others who had experienced the same sorts of feelings and frustration with hospice care. As I wrote, the tears would flow. It was something hard which had to be done. And and if the subject is hard, sometimes the emotions attached to it make words come easier – at least for me.
I discovered that the more I write, the easier it is to write more.
While it’s sounds like an impossibility, consider if something is already being done that it is easier to answer a related issue which pops up. It’s like watching the retired Seattle Mariner Edgar Martinez stand at home base, waiting for the pitch. He would stare at the pitcher and move his bat – back and forth in a circular motion – to keep its movement constant. He hit most everything he swung at. Something that is already moving can respond quicker to the task at hand. The same method is especially true with writing too; if the words are already flowing for one reason, it’s easier to get them out for another. In the end, writing is all about practice and, at least for me, having several interests gives me several outlets to keep the words coming.
This is the first post of 14 day’s worth, for a class called Blog Your Brilliance, where I set my intentions from the class.
Since I already blog, my hope is to continue fine-tuning what I do. I love to write. I love to find new ways to describe old things. I need to work on my craft and tailor a style, even though I’ve been at it for 35 years. I also want to share more of myself, not just stories from the past but also what I am feeling or dealing with in life. We are never too old to try, to learn, or to change.
Working on this will make my Writer’s Block a temporary distraction.