Writer’s Block

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“Fuck this.” – me, ten minutes after I sit down to write.

I’m seriously constipated, and I’m not talking about the post-box-of-flavor-blasted-goldfish kind of way. Creatively, I can’t get anything out of my brain onto paper. Not even utter crap. So, in a feeble attempt to break through this literary lockup I’m experiencing, I’m going to break this egg open with a little Q&A.

Lack of inspiration? I have multiple story ideas and outlines for screenplays, but for some reason I’m not truly moved by any of them. They’re great stories too; friendship in prison, killer honey from a drug-dealer’s beehive, a patriotic caddy, cab drivers on the day of a disaster. We’re talking good shit! For some reason I can’t sit down and dig into the stories. Despite the fascinating plots, I do feel slightly disconnected from them. I’ve never been to prison, I haven’t cultivated honey (or drugs), and I’m terrible at golf. This shouldn’t really be a barrier though, because previously I’ve written stories well beyond my own personal experiences. Is this separation really enough to break my confidence?

Spread too thin? I have so many projects in early infancy that occasionally I feel that my time would be spent better on one of my other projects then my writing. The opportunity cost of writing is developing new shows for the Mystery Tin Podcast Network, marketing and promoting Dinner’s Ready!, designing new card games for Mystery Tin Games, building a brand for someone else, taking online classes, and binge watching the latest season of House of Cards. Prioritizing these projects in terms of direct ROI would most likely help me cross them off my list in the short term, and eliminate my decision fatigue on what to do when I sit down to work.

Antisocial network? Some websites say that one potential cause of writer’s block is that you don’t have a solid support group of people willing to read your writing. The same goes with blogging and social networks. If you’re not feeling supported by the community, you won’t feel confident to put your work out there. While I can relate to this feeling, I’ve had it on a handful of occasions, right now I think I’ve got a great network of friends and confidantes that are willing to read my work… when they get the time, of course.

Fear? Honestly, fear is the most likely candidate. During this break from writing, I’ve made some new writer friends, and we’ve had some really insightful conversations. Their perspectives and arguments are thoughtful, which leads me to assume their writing is equally engaging and thought provoking. Is mine? This negative mindset is commonly referred to among writers as “the imposter syndrome;” the fear of being exposed as a fraud. I’m fearful that even I will have been fooled by the imposter and I am really not a good writer.

Slowly but surely, blogging is helping me break through the writer’s block, but even this article took three hours to think of and nearly an hour to write. I need to find my way back to the early morning writing sessions, the stories that can’t leave my thought process, and the self-confidence that comes with finishing a story you’re proud of. To me, that’s the joy of writing.

Hey writer friends! Have any suggestions on getting over this block?

CHE

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