storytellers

i'm in the pursuit of magic and writer's block sucks

I have been staring at a blank screen for a few hours now. On a number of occasions i have written a sentence or a paragraph only to hit the backspace button while taking a deep exasperated breath. Such is the journey of writer's block.

writer's block sucks

the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing
— google

it sucks even more when you are trying to remain consistent with a blog. I decided not to erase the last paragraph but of course then I was stuck again. So I decided to research writers block. During my research I found a pretty cool article about the different types of writer's block called "The 10 Types of Writers Block (and How to Overcome Them)". 

score

Maybe I won't find anything to write about but at least I might be able to figure out why. Instantly, I recognized my issue...Number 2 on the list "You have a Ton of Ideas but Can't Commit to Any of them and They Peter Out". 

story of my life

When you write a blog, you write each entry separately. On the left side of my screen is a list of all of my blog posts and at least 1/3 of them are started but unfinished blog posts on a variety of different topics. The idea is not the problem. It's just once I start writing, often times the thought doesn't fully come together in a way that wouldn't be utterly embarrassing for you to read, so I leave it there and hope that I can come back later and turn it into something that doesn't suck. 

My situation 20 minutes ago, or maybe an hour ago, it is kind of all blurring together at this point.

My situation 20 minutes ago, or maybe an hour ago, it is kind of all blurring together at this point.

So I read this article in the hope that it would tell me what to do. Guess what? It didn't. It basically told me told me what I am already doing. Apparently I am totally ahead of the game and know exactly what I am doing. Well, that is a first. It also does not help in this moment.

Apparently, writer's block is a pretty common thing and obviously not really something you can pin a date on as to when/where it originated but apparently the term writers block came about in academic literature some time in the 1940's by a psychiatrist named Edmund Bergler. In fact, Bergler went on to research writers block and wrote a paper on it in 1950 called "Does Writer's Block Exist?" The basic premise is that a writers is working to solve their inner problems by writing. This actually makes sense to me. It is like a lot of different creative outlets. You work through your issues by getting your creative juices flowing. He posited that a blocked writer could use therapy to become un-blocked.  The idea being that you figure out the psychological struggle and you unlock the ability to write.  Later research seems to confirm this. A lot of this later reserach shows blocked writers were often unhappy, anxious or depressed and all sorts of other things that claim to be the source of the block.

This is where I got a little lost. I get how being unhappy, anxious or depressed could cause writers block, it isn't that but if writing is your creative outlet, well then...

it is your therapy

Here is the thing though. Writing a book or a manuscript is a lot different than writing a blog. Writing something in long form is an intense process. It more than likely takes over your life. Writing a blog, I suppose could do the same thing but it is different. Depending on how often you post you have to come up with new and exciting topics that will make someone one want to continue to check in and care about what you are writing about.

not really doing a great job of that in this post right now I realize...sorry about that

If I waited for perfection I would never write a word
— Margaret Atwood

But telling stories is in fact my therapy and whether it is in writing or verbal story telling it fills the void. My problem isn't that I am unhappy and blocked, it is that I am seeking perfection. within reason of course. I say within reason because I am not a writer at heart, I didn't study English or journalism. I very rarely remember the grammar rules of a semi-colon and I probably use the wrong adjectives all of the time. The perfection I seek isn't in the writing as much as it is in the way the content is received.  I feel a responsibility to the content I choose to post. It is important to me that there is a purpose to what I write. I want the stories I tell to create a spark. What happens then is up to you but if I can somehow create the spark then...well then that is where the magic is.

i'm looking for magic

and that is why writer's block sucks so bad. I am in pursuit of magic here people and having a block is not helping. This is where you come in...that's right, I am bringing you into my block.

What would you like to read about? It can be about anything as long as it is positive in nature. Give me some ideas in the comments below.

SOURCE: 

http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/how-to-beat-writers-block

http://www.9bridges.org/overcoming-writers-block/

storytellers gotta talk, storytellers gotta write

Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted.
— Jules Renard
my very first diary circa the 80's

my very first diary circa the 80's

No wonder, I enjoy writing so much.  Whether writing for this particular blog, writing a letter or writing in my journal, there is something about writing that makes me happy.  My  love affair with writing began early.  In fact someone gave me a diary in elementary school and that seemed to be the catalyst for a life of writing. 

Although it might not have been the most auspicious beginning.  I also wrote a lot for school, including an award winning article on what the Statue of Liberty means to me in the 4th grade. It’s okay to be impressed by this, if I could put it on my resume, I probably would. 

oh yeah, I was very profound in my youth. all about cute boys and club meetings. I don't even know what club I am writing about.

oh yeah, I was very profound in my youth. all about cute boys and club meetings. I don't even know what club I am writing about.

Award winning elementary school articles aside, it turns out I didn’t have a whole lot of deep thoughts to write down in a journal.  So the journal took a bit of a hiatus until my years of teenage angst started to occur.  (On a side note, my Mom likes to say this started at 13 but my recollection puts it closer to 15 or 16.)

Yup, red jeans and a 90210 calendar, I was quite the cool kid in school 1992

Yup, red jeans and a 90210 calendar, I was quite the cool kid in school 1992

It was at about this time, a great friend of mine (Leiat) suggested that if I enjoyed writing for school so much, I should probably revisit the idea of a diary or journal and gave me one as a gift.  (It should be known that she gifted me the journal complete with a pair of bright red jeans.  So YES, I was very cool back in the day.) 

 


these are just a small sampling of the journals I used in High School

these are just a small sampling of the journals I used in High School

It was all over after that.  I wrote every single day and brought with me everywhere I went. Often times, note taking in school was replaced by journal writing.  I even at times had other people write in there too.  I attempted poetry (it was all extremely BAD poetry), I wrote about what I was feeling, what I wanted, was needed, missed, loved, obsessed over, you name it, I wrote it. I still write it.

You may be asking yourself, okay, great but why are you telling us this?  I’m telling you this because I am not a writer, not a real one anyways.  I didn’t major in English, I don’t always know the proper place for a comma or even more a semi-colon and I definitely struggle with rules around writing.  (I can never remember what the heck a preposition is anyways.)  But all that said I still write.  Why do I do it?  Here is a list of just some of the reasons:

  • it makes me feel good

  • it helps me process my thoughts

  • It helps me purge negative energy

  • It gives me good ideas

  • It feeds creative energy

One quote I found describes it in a much better way that I just did

For me, writing is exploration; and most of the time, I’m surprised where the journey takes me.
— author unknown

I talk to each of you in individual conversations I realize that we’re all looking for something that makes us feel the way I described above.  We’re looking for an outlet to help us get out of our own heads and focus on the positive.  Maybe writing isn’t for everyone, BUT maybe it is for YOU.  And maybe you’ve been thinking about doing it but something prevented you from picking up a pen.  I thought maybe if I shared some of my thoughts on the subject that you might grab a pen and start scribbling your thoughts.  If my experience doesn't motivate you maybe these quotes will.

Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.
— Melinda Haynes
Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
— Barbara Kingsolver

The world needs more storytellers. People who use their words to speak up and out. So grab a pen, tell your own story. Even if it is just for you, expression is contagious.

 

Have a great weekend!