3 Self-destructive ways to overcome creative constipation

3 Self-destructive ways to overcome creative constipation

pens

I had writer’s block.

{also known as:  FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!}

No one told me, when I started blogging, that there might come a day when the creative well feels drier than Bea Arthur’s {you fill in the blank}.

No one told me that the more busy and successful I got, the harder it would be to form and expel original thought.

No one warned me that you people were going to want me to come up with something original and awesome ALL THE DAMN TIME!

Any you know what?!?

It’s probably good that they didn’t tell me all that stuff, because I might never have started at all.

See, whenever we start something new, we have this narcissistic delusion that all the things that happen to everyone else won’t happen to us.

We think, “I won’t fail, I’m awesome!”

“People won’t ignore me, this shit is EPIC!”

“It takes everyone else two years to get a foothold, but I’m smart, I can do it in one!”

We are deluded.

Idealistic.

Moronic.

Naive.

New.

And we have to be. Business is hard and if we actually let ourselves believe just how hard, we wouldn’t start at all.

So back to my writer’s block.

July has been a really big month for me.

I made a lot of money in July.

You REALLY liked me in July.

July has been filled with a parade of happy people giving me money, and then thanking ME for doing what I do.

It has rocked, on a like EPIC scale. {In case you haven’t noticed I am embracing the word ‘epic’. Johnny B. Truant convinced me that to not do so would make me a pussy, and we can’t have that.}

I am super busy… working with some amazing new clients on some super cool projects… selling my wares… making new connections…

Life is pretty good.

Except for the fact that until this morning, I couldn’t keep a creative thought going long enough to find a pen to write it down.

It was dreadful. As a professional writer, feeling blocked is what we fear most. It’s like standing in front of a crowd with nothing to say. You know they love you, and they want to hear from you, and you also know that if you don’t come up with something soon, they are going to turn on you like wild animals and rip you limb from limb.

And you don’t know when (or if) it will end.

So how did I kick it’s ass, you ask?

I did three things over the past three days:

Step 1 – Friday: I got VERY drunk.

Now mind you, this is not terribly ground-breaking. I am aware of that. But I am a terrible drinker… meaning I suck at it. Yea. I actually SUCK at drinking. I drink so slow I actually have a hard time getting sauced by last call, even when I’m trying. So Friday… I drank until 4am and didn’t stop until I puked. {Mom, if you’re reading this… I totally made that up. Calm down.}

Step 2 – Saturday: I went shopping.

Note to self: next time you feel like the earth has dropped out from below your feet and everything you thought you knew about your strengths and skills is in question, DO NOT, under any circumstances, go shopping for a bathing suit.

Step 2.5 – Repeat Step 1.

Step 3 – Sunday: I wrote for seven hours until it got good again. (OK, so 2.5 Self-destructive ways, and one good way.)

Yup. I just plowed on through. Splitting headache. Upset stomach. Marching band inside my brain…

You can all suck it.

I wrote anyway. I wrote about everything. What I saw in my house, what my cat was doing. How annoyed I am that my boyfriend doesn’t get hangovers. I just kept going. Eventually, I started to actually see the good stuff begin to re-emerge. Apparently, turning myself back into the wrethced mess I was when I started blogging was precisely the way back to center.

So, the moral of the story?

The creative groove is small and narrow. When we’re in it, it feels like an endless canyon with high protective walls and a gentle flowing current that safely propels us to bigger and better things. But the second we get distracted by our innate curiosity, it spits us out on to the hot sand to bake in our own indecision.

There is no right way to get back to good when things’s go pear-shaped.

The trick is to just keep moving. Keep looking for your opening.

Keep your eye on the groove and never let it leave your site. If you do, you might never find it again.

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