We have all been there. You need to finish a project of some description. Whether it is a session for D&D you need to set up, an article for your blog or the next chapter in your story.
You get everything prepped. A pot of hot coffee, cut out distractions and you dragged yourself out of bed early so you have the whole day to work on it. You are armed and ready to create your magnum opus.
You get comfy at your computer, load up the necessary files and …
Without warning, your brain shuts down.
Gods, it is the worst thing that every creator is cursed to suffer at one point or another. The loathed writer’s block.
Today, or rather the day I am writing this, is one of those days. I hate it more than I can put into words, many of which aren’t suitable for civilised company. Mosty animalistic cries to be honest.
I don’t know about you, but these tend to hit me so hard that I take days to recover. What follows the block is the dreadful doubt.
I doubt the few ideas that manage to push through the blockage. I overthink every element, scrutinising them from every viable angle. Then, of course, I let the numbers get to my head.
“Well, X post only got this many views, so Y idea will probably fair worse.” or “Who would be interested in reading about that? No one!” plays in my head on repeat.
I try to take reasonable actions to get back on track, like walking away for a bit or reaching out for help like I did this time (shout out to Lethargic Ramblings and LiteratureFuckBoi). However, if by the end of it I am still in the same place my borderline self-destructive tendencies kick in.
I will load up on caffeine and vow not to go to bed until I finally produce something semi-decent. Needless to say, I stay up until ungodly hours or stay up the whole night. I do this more often than I care to admit. I suspect this is why my sleep schedule is non-existent.
The worst part isn’t how frustrating it is, nor the doubt, although those don’t exactly help the situation. It’s the toll on my mental health.
While burning the midnight oil, dark thoughts start to worm their way in. I start to give in a bit. The voice of doubt grows louder the longer it takes to write.
It tells me I am pathetic. That if I struggle to come up with ideas or posting on time then I am simply not good enough. That I am not on the same level as other bloggers, despite being at it for almost five years now.
That, my friends, is the worst part of writer’s block. For me at least. I hate to say it, but there have been times when I considered simply giving up. Believing that voice that I am worthless at not only writing but as a person.
I don’t reach out for help as much as I should, for fear of being seen as a Negative Nacney in the community or a burden to friends. I know it is unhealthy but I keep pushing myself to extremes to try and keep this blog going.
Yes, I have considered taking a break but it feels like giving in so I can’t bring myself to do so.
I have received some grand advice about how to prevent and better coupe with writer’s blog which I am now putting into effect as of now. Hopefully, these will limit those terrible late-night writing sessions.
I can relate to the writer’s block. I was writing a post for my blog tonight. It was going good and then I ran into the brick wall. Like you mention all the negativity starts creeping in.
I could offer my own tips about writer’s block, but one thing I think matters above all else. That is to keep trying. I don’t mean keep trying as in writing, but keep trying in finding a way to get through the writer’s block in a good way.
I and other people can give you advice about what to do with writer’s block that works for us. But keep in mind what works for me or other people may not work for you. So if you try something that someone suggests and it doesn’t work for you then try the next suggestion. Keep trying ideas and suggestion that people have until you find the one that works for you. There will be something that works for you in regards to writer’s block just need to find it.
But also keep in mind that writer’s block happens to everyone and not a reflection of our ability to write. So when it happens try to figure out why it has happen, but don’t let judge you as a writer. You have a loyal reader base that reads what you write and enjoys it. If we thought what you wrote was junk or no good then we would move onto another blog to read. Plenty out there to choose from. But we do come back and read what you wrote and comment on it.
So when those negative thoughts come in that you are a bad writer because of the writer’s block, then counter it with thoughts about your readers that do come back and keep reading. If the negative thoughts where true then you wouldn’t have us reading your blog. We don’t read out of pity but because you write engaging and thought provoking posts that have us coming back for more.
Speaking of writer’s block, it just doesn’t happen in posts but in comments. I am having it right now trying to figure out how to end this comment. So I will just end it 😛
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Beautifully said, Michael. Once again your kind words of support mean the world to me.
You are right, but our minds do like to make us doubt everything we create. It is easier said than done but I will try. I will remind myself that there are folk out there like you who see something good in my work.
I will use that light against the darkness.
Well that is so true Megan. Our minds do like to make us doubt everything we create. That doubt in itself is not bad. It is just the end result that is bad. Think about this way, if you didn’t doubt what you created then you would never improve as a creator. It is the doubts that can motivate us to try new things and improve as creators. That is the real challenge is taking those doubts and making them a positive thing for you instead of negative. But as long as try it can happen.
Also keep in mind that you are not alone in what you are going through. My doubts at one time lead me into some severe self-destructive ends. So I understand what you are going through to a degree. The same with other people. We can try to help you because we know how hard it can be dealing with the doubts where they lead. We can give you the benefit our experience in dealing with it. What we say may or may not help you, but it is worth a try in case it does help.
So don’t be afraid to reach out to people for help. There might be some people who view you as a negative Nancy or a burden. If that is the case move on to someone else for help. There are people out there who would be willing to help you. Just have to try and you will find them.
All the best to you and hopefully the episodes in the dark will get shorter 🙂
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