this is my brain on writer’s block

Often when I am writing, it is in pieces.  When someone once asked me to describe my writing process, the best (and most obnoxious) way I was able to speak to it was by comparing my writing methods to the way my grandma crochets.  She creates individual, free-standing and complete rows that are eventually all strung together to produce a quilt.

When I write, it’s usually in the form of a quippy line, or perhaps a couplet if that is what strikes me in the moment.  I jot these words and phrases down wherever there is room: on the margin of a paper at work (to later be transferred to somewhere more appropriate), in the “notes” section of my phone (though it’s not the same as introducing paper to an inky pen), or stored in my mind with a promise to make permanent later.  Usually the clever sentiment makes itself scarce by the time “later” arrives.

However, in the pantry that is my mind, my thoughts have grown stale as of late.  (As evidenced by the previous line.  Not clever at all).  I’ve always prided myself on being a writer, and grow frustrated when I am unable to do that very thing well.  In reality, it’s a little preposterous for me to even find it necessary to concoct a grandiose way to say I have writer’s block, but such is the nature of the beast.

I feel like creativity has not been coming to me as naturally as I would like. Even now as I sit at a table at Starbucks, simultaneously typing and wondering if anyone is reading over my shoulder (warmest hellos to you if you are!), I am focused on the superfluous comma in the first sentence of this paragraph instead of fleshing this paragraph out.  A great professor of mine in college warned us of this, though, and always told her students to not go back and nitpick the previously stated when this very act could halt the progression of a piece.

Surely, there’s a metaphor in that. It’s so easy to stunt personal progress (in whatever realm you choose to apply these words to as you’re reading — PS. thanks so much for reading!) by focusing too intensely on the illustrious idea of the past. In doing this, we are disregarding the potential progress of the undocumented, the un-lived, the yet-to-be experienced.  For me, I think this means not worrying too much if what I’ve written is perfectly stated if I have not yet concerned myself with whether or not my intentions are clear and conveyed properly, in addition to not letting mental blockades produce nothing but stagnancy.

I hope you are soon able to break free from what is preventing you from feeling productive.  Happy creating!


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