Ah, the omnipresent condition of “writer’s block.”
No joke, when you look it up it’s considered a condition. Well, it is considered a condition on Wikipedia standards, which these days a lot of us consider to be the gospel truth so I’m going with it.
If you’re like me and you want to check out the Wikipedia page for yourself and get lost in the rabbit hole that is the beauty of the internet, let me save you a few clicks:
Seriously though, Wikipedia is the best/worst invention ever. Best because, even though I’m “young” (whatever that means anymore) I can recall the days of elementary, middle, and even high school before the internet when I had to look things up in actual physical books and use *gasp* Encyclopedias!! I use the term “before the internet” obviously a little dramatically because while yes, the internet did exist and I did use it quite a bit growing up, we didn’t really use it for things like that. At least not how I existed in the 90s-00s. The internet was for things like Neopets or AIM messenger or eventually Myspace. We had books that were our primary source of knowledge and discovery. This is where Wikipedia becomes the worst for me because I have an absolutely insatiable curiosity and they’ve taken all the hard work out of flipping through pages of encyclopedias, using the Dewey decimal system, and all that other stuff we learned and they have just a million rabbit holes for my curiosity to venture down without requiring an ounce of effort on my part. Which honestly makes me feel terrible for all those times I’ve not given them even $3 because I legitimately understand their value and worth when I consider the pain and agony of searching for information only to end up with little bits of information that may or may not be accurate and ten thousand books to read through.
But let’s get back to writer’s block.
Writer’s block is one of those conditions experienced by what appears to be anyone and everyone creative. Sometimes I just call it a mental block because personally, I don’t always experience it in terms of writing, but ever since I’ve decided on my path to pursue blogging and writing, I’ve had it rear its head in the form of a writer’s block. Which sucks. Of course, as soon as I decide, “oh, you know what? I’m going to create a blog and write in there as much as possible and finally have a way to express myself that’s also on the internet!” is when writer’s block hits me with an uppercut punch. It’s almost like writer’s block doesn’t know I’m a fighter that’ll come back and end it with my Conor McGregor-esque left hook.
Maybe it does know though.
Maybe writer’s block is something bigger… like on a spiritual, intangible level. (Hold on tight here kids, this is where I go on my own weird angle of everything, so buckle up!) Maybe writer’s block is more akin to a gift than a curse. Personally, I try to see both sides of things. For instance, with myself, I have an unnecessarily fast brain which has been diagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with some sprinklings of depression and generalized anxiety. The medical community agrees those things are linked, and I know that my existence has proven that they in fact are. However, as terrible as those aspects of myself can make me feel, they’ve also imparted more wisdom and life experience than I think I can even fully fathom in my 26 years on this earth. So while many times I look at the inner workings of my mind as a curse, I am often surprised at what a gift they can truly be.
I am asserting that the same could be said of writer’s block. Potentially. At least until I’m proven otherwise.
If we skip over to the topic of religion which, I KNOW, makes people uncomfortable, I think there’s enough “unknown” there for me to make some pretty solid assertations about writer’s block. Let me start though by clarifying what I personally am talking about when I talk about “God.” This will inevitably make my blog post longer than I intended, but whatever. I’m on a roll here.
My background with religion is weird, but also not unlike a lot of other people out there. I attended Catholic school for the majority of my upbringing. Meaning all of it. I didn’t go to a “public” school until I attended community college at 19 years old. So I grew up with a very thorough education on so much of what Catholics and Christians believe. If I had to mark a religion box I would more than likely mark Roman Catholic, even though recently when asked my religion I said “can I just choose kindness?” which is a completely different tangent in itself so I digress. Just like everyone else, I’ve gone through my struggle with faith and defining it for myself. I honestly believe I will forever be in that struggle, thanks to my insatiable curiosity and unwillingness to be classified in a rigid box of beliefs.
Regardless, I do believe in something. I try not to give it too many rigid hoops to jump through, but I do believe in something higher than myself that I call God, at least most of the time. (Often in my family we call it the Universe.) There are many aspects to this higher power that I believe in and, without creating my own little religion over here, I’m beginning to believe writer’s block is a way in which It pushes those of us with creativity in our veins to grow and learn and change. A way that something higher than ourselves almost forces us to create. I think it’s like an offshoot from the collective consciousness that decides we need a little challenge in our creativity routines.
The choice is ours whether we chose to look at the writer’s block as a challenge or hurdle to overcome, or as this insurmountable monster blocking us from our own creativity and abilities. Though our ability to write may very well be a God-given gift, and though as the saying goes, “God giveth and God taketh away”, I do believe that for those of us with creativity in our soul and the desire to write or create, we are allowed to fight back with our own Conor McGregor-esque left hooks and say, “Um excuse me, dearest most loving God… I was trying to use that wonderful, magnificent, beautiful, amazing gift that you so lovingly bestowed upon me. Ya think I could have that back for a little while longer?” And if you feel like the God of Writing/Creating is putting up an equal fight to take away your creativity, then take a page out of my book and plant your feet right into the ground, clench your fist and tell Him/Her, “I kind of don’t care that you want to block me from creating right now. I want to create and that’s what I’m going to do. So instead of blocking me from creating, how about you give me just one small idea that I AM allowed to explore and express through these God-given gifts.” And whatever idea happens next, even if it’s to wash your sink full of dishes, or walk your dog, or do a load of laundry, just do it. I dare you. See what ideas come to you when you’re not trying to summon the greatness of your creativity. If you allow it to, I think that’s when the omnipotent force behind all of our creative tendencies will sneak out and say, “Hey… want to hear a great idea?”