writing

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/

what are you going to pay attention to in 2016?

It doesn't have to look pretty...thank goodness, you just have to do it.

It doesn't have to look pretty...thank goodness, you just have to do it.

Remember in school when you were given a writing assignment and you just went in and wrote your paper. It was a good paper. You were on fire. I mean, it may have been the best writing the world had ever seen, we're talking possible Pulitzer here. 

then you turned it in.

There were red  marks all over it. How dare someone mess with the next great american literature masterpiece! There was one glaring consistency in the red scribble across the page...did you make an outline first? Where is the structure?

After muttering under your breath, you think to yourself "how the heck did the teacher know I didn't do an outline or a rough draft?" or maybe you thought "my kind of literary genius doesn't need a rough draft." 

don't act like you never thought it...

Well, just like high school English class, it is important to outline your goals before you  just jump in all willy nilly. You want to make sure you know what direction you want your goals to head. In short, it helps to define where you want to focus your energies.

i promise this won't hurt

It is actually really simple, think about all of the notes you have been taking and the thoughts you have had about what you might want to focus on in 2016 and then put them into some overarching categories. Don't overdue it. Sometimes we set so many goals, it is impossible to focus on all of them. This will help you reduce and refine once you get to your overall goals. 

List the core areas of life you want to get results

Here is an example of my categories to help spark some creative thinking...

  • Health & Wellness

  • Love & Relationships

  • Financial Stability & Growth & Flexibility

  • Purpose & Passion

That's it. That is all you have to focus on today. Later in the week we will start actually putting our goals down into the areas of focus you specified and be on our way to starting kicking butt in 2016.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask them in the comment section below.