Writer’s block: what happens next?

Write, write, write and keep writing. If you want to get noticed and get paid, if you want to make a name for yourself – you must KEEP WRITING.

But what happens when the ink runs out? You keep scratching at the paper, but nobody can read it. You pierce straight through.To use a more modern metaphor, let’s say Microsoft Word is ‘not responding’.

It’s infuriating. Debilitating.

Commonly known as ‘writer’s block’, the inability to know what to write next can put the fear of God into those who want to earn a living from their craft. They being to question any ideas they may have or have used in the past. Will this come across as too…personal, boring, offensive?

This fear of failure stops a writer in their tracks. They effectively block their own creativity through misguided reasoning and the problem of wordlessness becomes a vicious cycle.

You might say, having a definition of this is all very well, but what can you do about it? Nobody can tell you what comes next in your story, blog or poem. A teacher once told me that she wrote absolute rubbish. It is only by wading through the rubbish that you will stumble upon a gem – or at least, something worth keeping.

Even if you decide to dispose of everything you churned out, hopefully, you will retain the momentum to keep going. Keep a diary and reread it a week later. Something that seemed mundane last week could be this week’s dynamite.

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Is anyone still there? Rediscovering my creativity

I realise I have somewhat enormously neglected this blog and that is a terrible shame and shall never happen again. Hopefully.

In all seriousness, I haven’t written on here for over six months and I can’t give a rational explanation as to why. Writing has always been one of my favourite things to do – I even thought I’d make a living from it one day  – but for some reason or another I had lost my confidence, or was too busy, or perhaps an essay looked more inviting…

And then I realised: being dumped is fantastic.

If I was clever (read: bored) enough to make a graph of my life over the past year, you would see that the correlation between creativity and being single is as strong as Popeye on roids. There is nothing new about getting comfortable in a relationship and letting things go – but I never thought it would happen to me.

Letting yourself go in a relationship usually means:

gaining weight (guilty)

shaving less regularly (no comment)

breaking wind (even the notion!)

Of course people are going to make less of an effort with minor aesthetic details, but to neglect the things that make you tick is just plain stupid. A relationship can be so all-consuming that you lose sight of who you were before it began. Being dumped – what a horrible word – being released can be liberating because it offers you the opportunity to rediscover what you like to do. You might resume your love of painting, judo, WHATEVER. You will realise that you no longer have to endure Futurama. Or pretend to care about Quantitative Easing. Or put up with his mother*. FREEDOM!

Aside from the ability to write snide comments, – which I urge you not to take personally, those who may feel under fire – for me, freedom means the ability to be creative again. So what if I haven’t written anything for ages? No one is there to stop me. Just because I have neglected this part of myself for the last six months does not mean I should neglect it for the next six months.

Congratulations to anyone who managed to digest all of my moralising. I won’t lie, I struggled.

*Disclaimer: some mothers are nice