I absolutely love to write. Since my crazy years of third grade, I’ve kept journals and stories that I’ve written no matter how cringe-worthy they are. Short stories--my absolute favorite--are the most fun to write for me because I tend to lack interest in stories after I’ve been writing them for a while. Writing short stories was fun for a while. But even my love of short stories has seemed to falter as I’ve gotten older. It’s harder to hold the inspiration and flourishing ideas I had as a kid. My continuous cycle of writer’s block perpetuates and I just want it to disappear, just like my motivation for this semester.
I’ve been in a writer’s funk since the summer before my freshmen year of college. It’s not that I can’t write anything--because I have. But, I haven’t been able to stick to a concrete idea for longer than a month. I’ll write articles, journal entries and short stories, but when it comes down to being wrapped up in my comforter and writing a solid story arc or cranking out a couple of chapters to a story, I bail out. It’s crossed out lines after crossed out lines of black ink in my moleskin notebook (a moment of silence for the wasted pages of my treasured notebook) as I try to find something that captures my attention. For the whole of my freshmen year, I blamed my funk on my busy schedule. And, for the most part, that was true. College is a whirlwind of adjustment, homework and making friends; you don’t really have time to yourself to the full extent that you used to.
But then summer rolled around. I laid in my backyard, embraced the 80-degree weather, swung on a hammock with the sun on my legs or hid out under my cool covers, escaping the heat. Not one drop of writing emerged in my notebook that summer. Sure, there were one-page ideas or poems here or there, but nothing I really admired or that held my attention. During the last weeks of summer, I came to the realization that maybe I just didn’t have the passion to write like I used to as a kid. Maybe being an adult had killed all my “creative neurons."
Then, a bolt of inspiration hit me on a painstakingly boring Monday morning. Gazing out the window during my Diversity in Literature class, I started thinking about Greek mythology and how the myths are so freaking weird. Seriously, who eats their own children? Anyways, I was thinking about Greek mythology and its history and came up with something cool. It actually has nothing to do with Greek mythology, but the point is that most authors’ novel ideas don’t come from the same old overused themes. Sometimes it takes thinking about eating your own kids to foster a bolt of inspiration. But note that inspiration doesn't equal a free pass out of writer's funk. It just opens a door that may let you get out.
I’m going to admit, I’m not fairly sure where I’m going with this. Writer’s block is a really sucky thing because you want to write but it’s as if your brain is dismantling your pre-frontal cortex and deleting everything you knew about writing short stories. I don’t think that there’s any concrete thing you can really do to get yourself out of a writer’s funk. It happens. Sure you can go to those online websites that generate story ideas, but how interesting are they? It’s all about gaining new experiences. You can’t write about the same things or themes that occur in your daily life. It gets boring and repetitive. I doubt I would’ve had these ideas if I hadn’t taken this literature course. The only thing you can really do to get yourself out of a writer’s funk is to do new things and hope that maybe your brain will decide to rewire your "creative neurons" back together.
Now, will this idea I derived from Greek mythology actually stick around? Ask me in a couple months, but I have high hopes. Stay tuned.