Writer’s Block Is A Myth

Writer's Block II

Some of you aren’t going to like me much because when you tell me you have writer’s block I am going to roll my eyes at you and ask you to fill my head with your top ten excuses.

Tell me something I can believe like you fell down the stairs and wound up naked in bed with your neighbor. I’d believe that, because hell the last time I fell down the stairs I ended up in my downstairs neighbor’s living room and found the Swedish Bikini Team wearing nothing but G-strings and shirts that said “Once You Go Jack You Never Go Back.”

But that wasn’t as bad as when a dozen donuts and an extra large pizza attacked me.

Really, they did and the only way I had to defend myself was with my teeth and the mighty stomach acid I just happen to carry around in my belly.

Stop Lying To Us

Stop lying to us and by us I mean you and I because neither one of us like it.

We both know that you are hiding behind silly excuses. You are hiding behind your fear of getting naked and you should be tired of it.

Look I get it. I am not the man I used to be either. The hair isn’t is as full as it used to be and the cuts in my belly show up when I flex extra hard.

But I have got skills and abilities that I didn’t have when I was younger.

I know how to make you swoon, cry, sing and scream.

That is because I have some life experience and so do you.

Fuck Your Fear

I am not channeling my inner Gary Vaynerchuck here. Sometimes I swear like a sailor because when you write you need to shine a light on the dark corners and face your fear. You need to just write and let the words flow from your fingertips onto the page.

Sometimes I do it by shadowboxing to the theme from Rocky. Sometimes I dance with reckless abandon and just let loose. Time to be like old Willy Shakespeare and unleash the dogs of war.

Sometimes it is by just writing about whatever comes easily.

Weekend Eating

Friday night I had sushi and Saturday night I went out for a good steak and enjoyed some Scotch with it. In between I spent a significant chunk of time lifting weights and walking on the treadmill.

You know why I am sharing that?

Because sometimes when the words don’t want to jump from my head onto the page I just write about whatever comes to mind. Sometimes I start in the middle and write backwards.

Sometimes I write about intimate moments and sometimes I write about silly things that are tied into those intimate moments. One of the best pieces of writing I ever came up with was an eight grader’s perspective on Fellatio.

It was tied into a school trip I took where the older and more experienced boys talked about the women they had been with. This dude (me) didn’t want to be left out and came up with one of the dumbest stories you have ever heard, but it made for a great coming of age piece.

Discipline and Practice

Writing is a skill that is improved via discipline and practice and based upon TheJackB school of writing you write about anything and everything. You include coming of alongside religious and political perspectives. You dig in and write about why every student needs a gun and how the schools would be safer if playgrounds were made out of Taffy and broken gum balls.

It is a mix of silly and serious with the intent to train yourself to write upon command.

And it is an understanding that sometimes you are going to write junk that makes you cringe and stories that make your feel such pride.

You Can Do It

This isn’t a skill or ability that is limited to just the select few. The ghosts of Twain, Poe, Dickens and Mrs. Hackleshmackle your high school English teacher are not going to haunt you for failing or praise you for succeeding.

You can do this but you have to stop making excuses. Writer’s block is a myth and you need to stop buying into it.

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12 Comments

  1. Arnebya April 19, 2013 at 4:23 am

    I had to call bullshit on myself a few years ago. Even now I tend to want to SAY I am blocked but I know better. There is no blockage outside of my own creation of it. If I’m not writing (and my blog has been neglected going on 2 weeks now) it’s because I don’t want to (which is hard to admit because I always want to. I just sometimes sit down and say aw fuck it I’m have some Cheetos instead.) If what I WANT to write isn’t coming out, it’s because I’m afraid of it coming out, not that it actually WON’T. I’ve had to force myself to realize that everything I write doesn’t have to be shared. Just write it. It might be ugly and poorly written, but at least it’s out and again the block has been proved a lying ass liar.

    • Jack April 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Hi Arnebya,

      Absolutely. Not everything has to be shared. Sometimes I just write it on a piece of paper because I have to do it for me and no one else. But the thing it always proves to me is that like you said it is never an issue of not having something to write about.

      It is a question of desire followed by action.

  2. Lisa April 17, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Sure thing – in my honest opinion, there is no such thing as writers block. If we have a content strategy in place and have the habit of capturing every idea that occurs, content creation will be easy as breeze. After all, if we don’t feel like writing on one topic we can always write on another 🙂

    • Jack April 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      There are so many topics out there. If you use an editorial calendar and map things out in advance it is virtually impossible not to write something.

  3. Jens P. Berget April 15, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I used to have all kinds of excuses, but now, I schedule my time and write. I write every day, at the different schedules I set, but I don’t write as fast or as good (high quality) every day, but the most important part is that I keep writing. In other words, I agree with you 🙂

    • Jack April 16, 2013 at 3:31 am

      Hi Jens,

      I think the discipline and experience of writing each day is invaluable. We aren’t always going to produce gold each time we write but the more we work on things the easier it becomes.

  4. Betsy Cross April 15, 2013 at 2:45 am

    “Sometimes I start in the middle and write backwards.”
    That’s how I read magazines! Made myself laugh.
    If I’m stuck and can’t write, I know I’m not willing to share myself because I don’t want to be judged – I want to write about good, safe things.

    • Jack April 16, 2013 at 3:26 am

      Hi Betsy,

      That sounds like a reasonable way to read. Actually I do that too sometimes.

      There are certainly moments where it feels better to try and write about safe things.

  5. Stan Faryna April 15, 2013 at 1:04 am

    Sometimes, I wonder when the words don’t come. I wonder if it’s because I don’t want those words. Those feelings. What’s real. What’s happening to you. To admit to them. Because I wish they were otherwise. One way or another. Right or wrong. Good or bad.

    • Jack April 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Hi Stan,

      I think it is more of a case where the internal editor dictates what we put down. It is not like you can’t put words on the page, but you just can’t make yourself do it because you fear the words.

      Maybe it is fear of emotion or maybe it is just that you don’t think they are good enough.

  6. Birdman April 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I’m with you on this one. There’s always something to write about, but sometimes I just don’t feel like writing about anything. That’s when I don’t.

    • Jack April 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Birdman,

      I understand that. Sometimes you just don’t feel like writing and that is ok. I don’t have a problem with that, it is only when people say they have a mental block. I rarely if ever buy into it.

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