A month ago I made a promise to myself going into the New Year. This promise consisted of improving my writing by any means possible. A month later, I am critically struggling with putting this goal of mine to into the works. And of course, writer’s block is to blame.
The ideas never stop. The execution never works. The whole process is entirely frustrating. How am I supposed to improve writing when I can’t write? What is making this so troublesome? Am I overcomplicating this? (As I tend to overcomplicate 100% of the things I come into contact with.)
No need to fear fellow struggling writers. I’m sure we all know writer’s block is normal; nevertheless, it doesn’t make it any less aggravating. Writer’s block is a reminder that as an individual I have trouble expressing myself, and that’s okay. It’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to write millions of grammatically incorrect and horribly worded sentences to reach that one you’re looking for. It’s okay to juggle millions of variations on paper, in hopes of being able to articulate an idea and make it seem so effortlessly put together. It’s okay to wrinkle your forehead and rack your mind. It’s okay to repeat this process over and over again until inspiration strikes or a paragraph takes root in your mind and slowly blossoms onto a sheet of paper or a blank document.
So what do I do to cure the looming and ostensibly incurable phenomena of writer’s block? I take a break. Sometimes they’re long- like a month. Sometimes they’re short. And then I get back to work. I look for inspiration. I read old drafts that will never see another pair of human eyes. I write angry and passionate journals. I write down the ideas that are always spinning in my head but have never been typed or inked up because I’m afraid of them. I write. I revise. I critique. I share. I learn. But most importantly, I read. I read the struggles of other writers. I read their best works. Their award-winning novels and poems. I read my proudest works. I read simple lists. I read childhood stories and journals. I read about current events. I reread young adult novels. I soak up the world around me, open up my ears and listen. And then I write and pray it’s good. And if it’s not, then I know I have an inherent masterpiece in the making.
The greatest part about writing is that it’s different for everyone. There’s no formula. There’s no right or wrong. There’s also no such thing as pleasing everyone or such a thing as perfection. Satisfaction exists, but at what cost? Personally, with writing, I have craved satisfaction so much that writer’s block is the only byproduct because everything I write has to be perfect. I personally believe that being satisfied with writing is completely unattainable and unrealistic. Why? Because if you’re satisfied then you’re not getting better. You’re not continuously learning and improving. In this mindset, everything is a draft and nothing ever becomes worthy of praise. Satisfaction isn't real. Perfection doesn't exist. And writer’s block is is a roadblock, that time and time again needs to be overcome. But for now, I write about it, because what else is a writer to do?