Whether you’re a writer or not, we’ve all had that experience of staring at the screen, watching the blinking cursor, wishing for words to appear without any effort from us. In fact, this blog is a result of it. I’ve been sitting here, knowing I could do with writing something, but nothing would come.
I thought to myself: ‘oh, here it is. The classic writer’s block.’
On a little google, writer’s block is defined as: the state of being unable to proceed with writing, and/or the inability to start writing something new. Some believe it's a genuine disorder, while others believe it's “all in your head.”
So it seems there is a little bit of debate about this. Regardless, we can all agree writer's block is a painful condition that's often difficult to overcome.
But, it got me thinking, don’t we all have some sort of ‘block’ from time to time? I definitely have annoying ‘blocks’ in motivation when it comes to putting out the washing or watering the plants (I’ve killed a lot of plants.) In this way, writer’s block is in some ways a paraphrase of ‘a lack of motivation or inspiration.’ After all, you can be unable to proceed with anything if your mind, body, energy levels or creative juices are not what they need to be to complete that task.
Every type of occupation will have their own version of a ‘block.’
A lack of motivation or inspiration can be very painful and frustrating, especially if there is an expectation or timeline involved.
How can we overcome this?
I’ve definitely been feeling it. There have definitely been times this year when it's been cold and damp, and due to covid restrictions, I've felt pretty demotivated. I may have had as they say ‘writer’s block’ but I don’t think it was anything to do with writing or a lack of ideas at all. I just didn’t know how to engage my brain to think what to write.
Firstly, I needed to remind myself of why I write and why I love it. Mainly because it’s an escape, but also I feel God’s joy and provision when I do it. That helps.
Additionally, sometimes when we have a ‘block’, it’s good to get out!
Go for a walk, have a shower or just do anything which allows you to freshen up. A good one for me is setting aside time to do some exercise. With flexible working, I’ve even started doing this during the day and I’ve been much more alert during my working hours. This has helped me to refocus on how my work serves and blesses my colleagues' work and that can be a pretty good motivator. If I just get stuck in the monotonous repetition of everyday tasks, I can lose that pretty quickly. It’s good to take time away to stay grounded.
So whatever block you have can be painful, especially if it lasts for a long time, but the best way to be inspired or motivated into doing something is not to force it. Let it come naturally by giving whatever you’re trying to do some space to breathe.
Oh, I’ve finished the blog. Very stream of consciousness but a blog all the same! :D