Writer’s block: when your imaginary friends won’t talk to you

Published On: 10/10/2017Categories: Writing908 words4.6 min readViews: 94

Writer’s block can EAD.

I’ve been stuck in a rut with my writing (with lots of things actually, but let’s stick with writing for the sake of everyone’s sanity). I’ve had several people ask me when my next blog post is coming out (which is genuinely flattering and makes me feel all fuzzy on the inside) and my response is to smile and say “oh I’m working on it”. Truth is I just stare at my Macbook for about 10 minutes every night not knowing how to say what I want to say, before reaching for my phone and ending up horizontal on the couch watching re-runs of Seinfeld. Maybe there’s a bit of drool seeping out of mouth, maybe not.

I’ve tried desperately to put my time in Cambodia into a piece I am happy to share with everybody, and so far, I haven’t been anywhere near satisfied with the result. I feel like my words don’t do it justice and that my style of writing might not capture all the emotions and feelings that came with such an extraordinary experience. I get a little OCD with it as well – everything’s got to be bloody perfect.

Cue Anxiety Girl to the rescue – my inner non-superhero. She makes me think that every one of my blog posts sound too similar, that they have the same ramblings and content, the same tone and jokes, and therefore people are gonna get over them really bloody quick. And then she encourages me to stop writing altogether because people probably think I’m a try-hard. It’s an anxiety-filled, overly-dramatic snowball effect that occurs almost daily within myself (and I know I’m not alone in these sorts of thoughts. Anxiety Club members know the drill).

Anxiety Girl! Superhero cartoon on a blue background and it reads "able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!"

Back to the writer’s block (stay focused Hannah FFS) …

Now, not everyone believes in writer’s block. Many people believe it’s because you’re trying to force something that isn’t ready yet/not there, and other’s believe it’s just an excuse for people who are lazy and love excuses. Ahem.

  • “I don’t believe in writer’s block”
  • “Writer’s block is for people who have the luxury of time”
  • “Usually writer’s block arises when something is wrong internally with the story”
  • “Writer’s block is an imaginary mental illness invented by the 1% so they could control 99% of our creativity, and you can snap out of it on the count of three by just typing like a motherfucker.” Alright mate, chill out.

Whether or not you believe it’s an actual thing is irrelevant at this point. I decided to take some advice from a new acquaintance (advice that I’ve heard a million times before), and just write whatever comes to mind, even if it’s total shit. She said to me that not everything I write has to be a massive, hectic piece that everyone can relate to. “Write for the media, write for your target audience, hell – just write something only your family and friends will get. As long as you’re continually writing and posting, it doesn’t matter.” And I know she’s right.

Movement, consistency and ingenuity are crucial in the realm of blogging, vlogging and all things social media. If you want results, you’ve got to put in the work even when you don’t feel like it, and especially when you don’t feel like it’s working. You’ve gotta figure out why it’s not working and how you can reignite that spark. I need to remember that I’m not going to create something perfect and amazing in one sitting. Sometimes I can write for an hour, and only get one good sentence out of the thousands of words I’ve written. Sometimes it can take several days or weeks to write one post that I’m completely happy with. And I’m okay with that because the method works – if I persist. There’s the kicker.

And this isn’t just with writing (obviously you smarties out there could see I was going to make this applicable to anyone reading it right?) This relates to EVERYTHING. Consistency, persistence, dedication,  effort I know, I’m tired already too. But it’s true. And we all know it’s true, and yet we’re constantly searching for ways around it where we don’t need to work as hard or as smart. So many of us want an easier option and straightforward answers. We’re looking for a way to lose weight and tone up without having to cut out garlic bread and beer, we wish we could speak another language, but want a new and improved app that’ll make it easier and quicker to achieve, we dream about what it’d be like to make a living out of writing, but don’t write enough … yeah, these are all kinda specific to me, but you get what I mean.

Whatever you’re working towards, don’t give up. Don’t quit. Keep it on your radar each and everyday. Apply yourself, put in the hours, make the changes, make the time, stay determined and find new ways to stay motivated. Do your research, ask for help, ask questions, show your passion (people love passion), write down your goals and talk about your goals. Learn to recognise when you’re making excuses, allow for failures, for ups and downs and Just. Keep. Going.

Nothing in life worth having, comes easy.

Except garlic bread. As long as supermarkets keep stocking wraps, garlic, cheese and herbs, I’ll be able to make my own garlic bread until I’m dead in the grave. Yasss queen.