The eternal struggle for creative or artistic people. You’ve probably heard of the term ‘writer’s block’. It refers to a writer’s struggle to get the ideas flowing and think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. Some say there is no such thing as writer’s block and that you can write about anything. Even a lack of ideas can be an idea to write about. But I don’t think that is true. I do believe there is such a thing as writer’s block. But I also believe that it can be managed so as to not stifle your creativity.
I’ve often struggled with what to write about on this blog for example. I cover a lot of varying topics and sometimes I either don’t know which topic to choose for the week or what to write about in those topics. Several things happened in the last few days alone that I could easily write about. Trump has proven to the rest of the world not blinded by their own prejudices that he is a complete loon who no one should ever trust or take at his word. Boris Johnson has tried walking his diplomatic tightrope for the first time as Prime Minister, trying to convince European leaders that Britain is not going to be sucking up to Trump in all things, while still trying to charm the US President to smooth the way for a potential trade deal. Chelsea won their first game under Frank Lampard, while Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal all suffered defeats which could have major implications for the season ahead. Ben Stokes performed a sporting miracle in Leeds on Sunday as England won the third Test to ensure the Ashes are still alive. The latest trailer for the next Star Wars film was released yesterday, creating more buzz around the ending of the Skywalker story and debate about where the franchise may go from here.
I could have and still could write about these stories, but I wanted to touch on a topic outside of what I normally write about for this blog. And that is my experience with writer’s block. I’ve never suffered terribly from writer’s block like some have where it can take them two years to break through it. With me, it’s generally for the week in between posts and then I move past it in an attempt to meet my self imposed deadline. And to be clear, it’s not just novelists and writers of the written word who suffer from writer’s block, songwriters can go through this as well. Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody has admitted to extended periods of writer’s block that meant the band ended up on a seven year hiatus. Now I don’t have that kind of pressure on me at the moment. And I think that helps me. I have been getting a post up on this site once a week for a good six months and because I am mainly writing about current events or personal pieces I’m not struggling too hard, I’m simply trying to get my thoughts in order and trying to express myself properly.
One area I do need to improve on is being far too picky and editing my stuff far too soon. I’ve even thrown entire pieces away to start again rather than view them objectively to see what I can do make them work better. My style of working can also be improved. Instead of continuing to write, even if it is total rubbish, I try and write the perfect piece in one take, that’s how many of the posts on here have been written. But, ironically that can make writing them take an awful lot longer. I end up editing straight away and can end up down a blind alley for quite a while. So, going forward, I need to let up on that. Find an idea that I’m comfortable writing about, and then just write for a while. Edit the piece later after taking some time away and don’t throw things away unnecessarily. That should help, hopefully.