I know it’s distastefully ironic to write about writer’s block. At least I’ve thought so since college. I was taking a writing class, and we had to read a general audience book about writing. I chose one called “On Writer’s Block” mostly because it was what I saw when I went to the bookstore. It was a pretty typical self help book. I thought it was garbage and basically said so in my paper about it. Now I’m suffering from writer’s block and I find myself thinking about that book. I still basically think it’s garbage. But, this is an attempt at applying some of its lessons.
I’m pretty sure my writer’s block is related to my depression, strangely the fact that my depression is a bit better. That’s not to say I’m anywhere near where I want to be, just that I am feeling a little bit better. When I was at the bottom, it was awful, but it did have some benefits. I didn’t care as much about what I put out. In fact, putting something out that I wasn’t happy with felt right. It was like a confirmation of my thoughts and feelings. And it was easy to disassociate myself from what I wrote and whoever might read it. Depression is isolating and I was able to take advantage of that.
Now that I’m feeling a little better, I find that I’m much more self-critical and that I care about what other people think of me (Like I said, I’m not where I want to be). That’s a deadly combination for a writer. I keep starting things and not finishing them. I have a few things that I forced myself to finish, but I’m too embarrassed to publish them. This is no way to keep content flowing.
So, here I am, trying some advice I got from a self help book twentyish years ago. I’m forcing myself to write every day. I’m giving myself deadlines (at least one post per week). I’m giving myself prompts, this week’s is writer’s block (I’m open to prompts from others if you’re so inclined). And when I finish something, no matter how much I dislike it, I’m forcing myself to publish it. It’s not going to be fun, or pretty, but I’m hoping it will be good for me and help get me to where I want to be.