Hello. I need to write about something for this post. Problem: I have absolutely no clue what I want to say. So, I think I’m just going to go ahead and crank up some music, start writing, and see where my thoughts take me.
I think now, while I write about nothing, is a good time to tell you how much I like the band Coldplay. Why do I like Coldplay? Somehow, the soothing lyrics and comforting melodies give me a tremendous amount of encouragement and make me want to sing like a skilled vocalist (I don’t like singing at all, and will avoid singing if at all possible). But, I can’t just ramble on about Coldplay. If only these thoughts could translate into a blog post.
I now know what I’m going to write about. Anyone suffer from writer’s block? I do!
What do I do when I have writer’s block? Well, I put on some music. I start thinking. I start writing. I go for a walk. After a few minutes or hours, a light bulb goes off and I’m writing about something. An artist needs inspiration, and as writers, we’re artists. As suggested in the movie Shakespeare in Love, even the fictionalized William Shakespeare needed Viola to finish Romeo and Juliet.
Writer’s blocks are as annoying as heck. They frustrate me on two levels. One, because I like to plan ahead, writer’s blocks completely screw up my schedules. I hate when I devote a Sunday morning to writing a paper and then sit down at my desk to make an outline and… nothing. Two, they annoy me because I easily use the mental blocks as an excuse to procrastinate and end up wasting more time in the process. If I sit down at my desk and I still can’t think of anything after reading the texts, listening to music, eating cookies, and praying for inspiration, I just give up and go for a walk. It usually only takes me five minutes before I abandon my work.
But hey, I am not going to criticize the importance of my walks. So I procrastinate. So I waste time. However, after going on a walk, I return to my work with a mind filled with ideas, ready to explode onto the paper. My ideas seamlessly flow from my mind to my feverishly-typing fingertips, and then I take a breath. I read over my writing. And you know, most of the time it turns out to be pretty good.
I have learned that if you try to force a paper, you have trouble making it logical and coherent. The writing process quickly devolves into a hellish procedure, and you slave away at your paper wasting hours that you could have spent hanging out with your friends, watching TV, or sleeping. Writing, without inspiration, becomes unnecessarily difficult.
My solution to this conundrum: stop working and go and do something else. Go for a walk. Watch TV. Listen to music. Heck, sit and think in solitude. Just do something besides sitting at your desk feeling frustrated. Seek your inspiration. Find your Viola or find your Coldplay. All will be fine; the writer’s block will end and soon enough you will have a paper ready to go. To end, I will finish with a section from Coldplay’s “Square One,” a song that addresses beginnings. In this case, I think it can relate to a writer suffering from writer’s block:
The first line on the first page
To the end of the last page
From the start in your own way
You just want somebody listening to what you say
It doesn’t matter who you are…