September 23, 2013

How to Avoid Writer’s Block.

I just finished writing qui-te a bit.

I’d been having problems with my laptop’s keyboard—which magically manifested into hand-writing many of my articles, as I’m prone to do anyways (yes, as in paper and pen). My eager fingertips were excited with the new and springy keyboard that my talented husband had installed, and I went to work the way I have been doing the last few weeks, in chunks of time on weekends.

At one point during my lazy afternoon, I momentarily opened this new and improved laptop and my daughter—only a toddler—looked both interested and concerned.

When you write as much as I do and also willingly choose to parent, you come to a cross-roads of how much can I get away with? Answer: more than you should.

I’d realized spots throughout our days together when I—and certainly she—would have been better served by living my life—or, at least, helping her tiny self live hers—and I’d chosen to pry open two pieces of hard, grey plastic and write instead.

And don’t get me wrong—I don’t regret it. I did the best that I could and my child has always been happy and I’m never negligent. Rather, my ideal of parenting requires much hands-on attention, especially with only one kid.

A reader recently asked me how I’m able to write so much as a stay-at-home mom and the instant response in my head was how do you not write?  Please, tell me, I’d like to know… I can’t stop.

So, yeah, how do you not write?

This will get me into a lot of cosmic trouble (I’m currently knocking on wood with my non-writing hand), but I don’t often encounter “writer’s block.”

I think that any writer who digs deeply enough will always discover emotions and experiences not readily and deservingly displayed in words. Still, there’s a balance that any writer must achieve between life and writing—and let me be the first to admit: I stink at it.

I absolutely stink at not writing.

I’m not great, either, at choosing getting out of my head as second within my given list of options, and yet this is exactly what has to be done—well, if you want to write that is.

That old cliche that the best writing comes from experience—from a life that’s been lived—it’s true.

Sure there are times when I’ve had to call my mom and ensure her that I had a great day.

“No, mom…yes…I had a headache, but…well, no—I wore ballet flats and purple jeans not running shoes and shorts. Mom, not everything I write is real.” 

Whoa, pause—did I just let that slip?

My brain is a never-ending, side-show circus and my imagination sometimes fuses with “real” life when I begin to write—and this is why you have to know when to put down your pen and walk away; just walk away and live.

Some suggestions:

1. Practice yoga.

2. Have children.

3. Make love.

And you know what? Material is always there—in these three things and the many other adventures that make up our lives—and that’s the secret:

You can’t forget to get out of yourself and into the world that you inhabit.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go join my beer-drinking, football-watching husband and a particularly good driver (who’s only three and in a small red Cozy Coup maneuvering around the couch, that is).

 “Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone for others. Unfold your own myth.”

~ Rumi

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Ed: Bryonie Wise




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