I turned 40 this week and I was feeling very positive about it, although I have been much less so about my writing. After a year and a half of building confidence and having the words and ideas flow quite freely, I’ve been in a drought for while, probably 6 months of a drought. A few words come here and there, but they are difficult and I don’t like them generally.
I am most definitely experiencing the infamous writer’s block and I’m struggling to find a way out of it. Even writing this feels painful and I don’t know if I’ll share it. My inner critic has got very comfy at the forefront of my mind and inspects every sentence, every thought, and deems them all shit. Perhaps they are. Perhaps that’s my problem. Perhaps I’m just not supposed to write.
Thankfully there’s a little faith still in there somewhere, that believes I can do this and more importantly there’s a longing that wants to make it so.
So what do you do to deal with writers block? I guess the answer is write. Just write, and write some more and even more. Write through it. Write anything. Write the shit stuff and laugh in the face of your critic. I’ve been trying to keep my self in the writing frame of mind by finally working through the Masterclasses my wonderful fiancé bought me last year. Listening to the advice and experience of writing masters like Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman and James Patterson (and there’s more) is incredibly inspiring, but I think the main problem is that I am just shying away from the act of writing. I’m telling myself I just can’t do it as soon as it feels difficult, and I’m busying myself with other things. I have no choice really – work, children, home all demand my time, as they should (and now we’re planning a wedding too!). Although, perhaps I am taking on things I shouldn’t, and not allowing myself my dream. I guess we all face this.
It’s been feeling like it’s make or break time lately – either this writing lark needs to just start working again or I’m going to have to let it go and get real.
And then I turned 40 and my wonderful family came through. Again. Two years ago when I whispered ‘I think I want to write’ I was showered with writing gifts on my birthday – notebooks, ‘how tos’, handbooks, toolboxes, pens – all kinds of things to inspire me to believe in myself a little. A writing retreat followed the birthday after, and now they’ve done it again.
I sit here typing on my brand new MacBook(!), new notebooks and inspirational prints surround me, as well as beautiful hand made gifts that have filled me up with love and courage. So it’s time to get back to it. Time to rise early and write my morning pages each day, no matter how much it seems like drivel.
Time to make time to sit and write – maybe return to Friday Fictioneers on Wednesdays, as it was a great way to keep me writing, and manageable each week. Time to connect to the fantastic resources suggested in the Masterclasses, such as Writers Digest and Literary Hub, as well as, other resources like Writers HQ, and most importantly get back to my WIP. I’d like to submit to Writing on the Wall’s, Pulp Idol competition by the end of the month.
It seems I have a plan of action, so here goes. Turning 40 isn’t so bad and it came at just the ‘Write Time’ 🙂
Thanks for reading and please do let me know if you have any other tips on beating Writer’s Block!
Acrylic on canvas board by Stephanie Whyte
(Thank you Steph xx)