Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday's Inspiration - Bird By Bird Writer's Block

Finally made it to do a post about Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. Today I'm talking about Writer's Block. Skipped two segments since they didn't inspire me. That really isn't bad since so much else of this book has.

About Writer's Block, almost every writer suffers from this. I once had a sort of one but that was due to emotional exhaustion. I was working thirteen hour shifts as a nurse and dealing with patients, doctors and their problems drained me. This was a block in that I couldn't write, but at least I was able to gather events and emotions of myself and others to use later when I wrote.

Anne Lamott feels when a block occurs you are empty rather than stuck. Walking away and doing something else can often clear the mind and allow all you hae experienced to filter in.

I have friends who have written beautiful things in the past, stories packed with emotions and excitement. Then they stop. They say they have a block. To me I wonder if it's not more a fear of success rather than one of failure. Round and round in their thoughts beats this thought "What happens if I succeed?" "Will my family, husband, children, relatives, friends be upset by my success?" Suddenly they can't write.

There is no real cure for writer's block but time and a change of scenery. Just a trip to the kitchen and starting dinner or some other mindless task can free those kinks that have stopped the words from flowing.

Anne Lamott said something else that struck me. She had a large number of bad reviews on one book, That would block anyone, I think but only if you pay attention to those reviews.

So if you are faced with a writer's block, first examine why this has happened. Then go for a walk, put on some music you love, pick up a book and read or choose a mindless task. Be patient and the words will flow again.

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