I find the concept of writer’s block to be an interesting conversation. To visualize an actual block physically preventing you, me, someone from writing.
I find it amusing because I, for the past three weeks, I have not been writing.
Sure, I have written some short posts, and a few journal entries. But nothing that expands into the depth and detail to which I am accustom.
Nothing that articulates a message of intrinsic value to myself or people that read what I have to say.
And I’ve allowed the fact that I haven’t been doing what I say and know I enjoy so much, to create a lot of mental chatter.
That inner dialogue that says…
“You should write today”
“You haven’t written in awhile”
“Why are you not writing anymore”
“What’s going on?”
“Are you sure you enjoy writing?”
And as I write the mental chatter that has been floating through my mind for the past three weeks, I stop myself.
I stop myself from continuing the story.
I stop myself from trying to analyze the meaning.
I stop myself from having to know some hidden reason behind it.
You want to know WHY I haven’t written in awhile?
I haven’t sat down and attempted to write anything until this exact moment of writing this post.
Seems to be rational that if I haven’t attempted to write, that no words would magically showed up on the page.
No new stories written.
No new experiences shared.
No new lessons to offer.
And trust me, I have went down the rabbit hole of telling myself…
“I’ll write when I’m inspired”
“I’ll write when I have something better to say”
“I’ll write when I feel like it”
Yes, there are times where it’s almost as if stories come to me and through me in a moment of inspiration.
And the only options during those times are to sit my butt down and write.
Or, I guess I could ignore those fleeting moments of inspiration. Which I rarely do.
But, what I have realized is…
If I only write during moments of inspiration, I will look back one day disappointed that I didn’t write more.
Because when I actually sit and write, I love it.
When I don’t sit and write, I question why I don’t.
Which, like I said above, I have to actually take the action of writing for it to occur.
What I have also realized is, some of my best stories came from times where I created the time and space to write.
Where I sat down with 3-4 hours scheduled, and started typing.
Often the first words making about as much sense to me as a film speaking a language I don’t quite understand.
The plot is unclear
The characters have hidden agendas that I don’t even understand
And the ending, well, there isn’t one…
But that’s often the story for the first 20-30 minutes of uninspired writing.
For example – I wrote “The Power of Asking the Right Question” a few weeks ago on a bus ride across Bosnia, through Croatia.
I had been typing whatever came to mind for about an hour.
Then asked myself, “what do I want to write and share?”
By that point, I had written and expressed a lot of chatter from the day, so my mind became clear in the moment.
That story received more interest than many I had written in moments of inspiration.
Here’s the cool thing about knowing what is important to you…
When I stopped checking my emotional temperature before doing things that I know I want to do, and do them…
I almost always feel much better after the fact, and am grateful I did it.
Take exercise for example – there are many days I don’t feel like going.
“Damn, I would rather watch Netflix”
“I rather listen to a book”
But I go anyways.
Because if I only worked out when I 100% feel like it, I would rarely go.
Exercise is different than writing for me, and that is because I know 100%, that once I start working out, I love it.
I’ve never finished a workout after not feeling like it and said to myself…
“Man, I sure wish I had not done that”
And since I have those references, I can use them to keep me consistent. I don’t pay attention to how I feel when it comes to working out.
I wait and check in with how I feel after the fact.
Which guess what, unless I broke a bone or smashed a body part with a weight, it’s always, “great”.
The same goes for my writing.
The same goes for dancing (as of late – still working on this)
The same goes for many other things
IF I know it’s something that I will enjoy during and the result, like…
Improving my writing
Socializing with people
Learning to dance
I’m getting to a place in life where I stop checking in with how I feel before I do something like that.
It’s not always easy.
And there are times where our minds and emotional thermometer can be very convincing –
If you know that it’s something important, like a public speech, a book you are writing, or traveling the world…
Only check in with your feelings during or after the speech, writing session, or dance lesson.
Otherwise, that perfect feeling or inspiration may never come.
Because I know for me, that after I get started on something, like writing this post, I’m happy that I did.
And not only that, it rids me of the mental chatter.
The chatter that is confused by the fact that I say I want one thing.. but my actions paint a picture of different intentions.