Let’s talk about writer’s block.
And lately, I’ve been struggling with it quite a bit.
Now, there’s a lot of debate about whether or not writer’s block even exists or what it is defined as, but when you’re experiencing something akin to it, it can be easy to get really down on yourself and think you’ll never be able to write again. It really does become that dramatic sometimes.
A few years back I was taking a poetry class in college. Most of my classmates, myself included, had all been in the same previous level poetry class the semester before. It was magical how prolific we all were, and how unafraid we were to try new things and share with each other.
But then…something happened at the beginning of that second semester together. Many of us started to doubt. We made excuses before reading a poem. We complained that we just weren’t inspired. We were blocked. We had run out of ideas. We panicked.
That mindset has a special way of crushing your joy. And in my experience, I was reduced to tears of desperation on more than one occasion. But in the middle of it all, I received an email from a girl in my class. And I’m going to share part of it with you all because there’s a chance one of my might need to hear these words:
Here’s me telling you that you’re a writer. And you matter. And your words make my life better…even ones you don’t like or have a hard time putting down. Just promise you’ll never stop! And promise me that when I’m wearing mom pants you’ll send me your poems because I know that I’ll need them.
I printed it out and kept it close, and although she and I have drifted apart, both geographically and relationally, I’m reminded that she made me promise I’d never stop writing. Even when I’m at a loss for words. Even when I don’t like the words I find. And especially when the words are hard to write.
So a thanks to her, and to my ever-patient professor who dealt with an entire class in crisis all at once. And a thank you to all of you for reading.
Do you have any cure-all methods for dealing with writer’s block? Any encouraging words you’ve kept close?