Hey everybody, we need to have a sit down talk about creativity and productivity.
This is important for everyone, including myself, especially myself in fact. I am writing this just as much for myself as a reminder of the truth as I am trying to remind you.
Many writers suffer from what they think is lack of creative power. “Writer’s block” they call it. Many writers shudder at the mere mention of the dreaded plague. If you feel the need to grab some comfort food now, a blanky or even a cute soft stuffed animal now is the time before we face the dragon head on, the bane of so many writers, the plague of the human mind. I myself am hiding myself under no less than four blankets in a not so well hidden attempt to create a thick enough layered shield of warmth to imitate the skin of a honey badger, which apparently can stop bullets, but more on honey badgers in a minute.
Are you ready? Because if not now then when are you going to face your case of “Writer’s block?” They make it sound like some kind of horrible disease. Want the truth? It is.
It’s an insidious disease of the worst kind in fact. It’s an imaginary disease. It’s made up. It doesn’t really exist. It’s only real in your mind.
But like in the Matrix, it’s mind over matter. What your mind thinks is reality, becomes reality. No, I’m not saying that if you think you’re a honey badger, and we all wish we were more like a honey badger sometimes, then you will actually become one. However, you might actually start believing you are one and that basically makes you one.
Strange, huh? Yeah, but that’s how the mind works and “writer’s block” takes full advantage of it. If you think that you can’t write, even subconsciously, then you won’t be able to write a single word. It’s that simple, mind over matter.
So how do you break out of this habit? Follow Neo’s example from The Matrix. Screw the rules. Don’t get shot full of bullets by Elrond in a suit and sunglasses monologuing about the evils of humanity. That’s not a good strategy. It worked for Neo, but to each his own. I’m guessing it won’t work for the rest of us.
So becoming the One won’t work, but you can follow the same idea in your life. The secret to writing is believing that you can. Like I said before, if you believe you can’t write something, a story, a novel, a blog post, whatever, then you won’t be able to write it.
Here’s the truth about writer’s block. You are its creator, defender and enforcer. If you don’t let yourself think that you have writer’s block then you won’t have it. You have that power. I know you do. Know why? Anything you create, you can destroy. Writer’s block is an excuse your mind uses to escape the guilt of feeling afraid of writing or some other part of the writing process. It’s a defense that cripples you in its efforts to protect you from your fear. It’s like the medicine that cures stomach pain, but have as side affects breathing pains, heart disease and death. It’s just not worth it, but so many of us, myself included, continue to inflict this horrid disease on ourselves. We sabotage our own efforts.
But we can stop writer’s block. We can beat it by remembering one simple fact: we are creative.
I know what you’ll probably say. “But… but Matt, I can’t be creative! I have such horrible writer’s block I just can’t break out of it! I need to stop trying to write for a week or two, and then come back and try to pick up where I left off.”
Don’t give me that crap. Come back from your vacation to Serialprocrastionville. Get off the bed. Sit in your work chair at the computer and write. “I’m just not able to be creative right now!” Honestly, cut the crap.
Listen to me, you are always creative. You are more than likely a human being. Human beings have this amazing body part called a brain. The human brain is a pretty miraculous machine, and trust me when I say there is no moment in your life when you are not being creative. Here’s why I know this:
1. How many of you have ever written a letter to a grandparent? How about an email to a friend? A tweet? That Facebook status you just had to share with everyone about how depressing it is that your mother wouldn’t let you get your significant other’s name tattooed onto your body? Guess what. Creativity! Every time you write anything with words at all you are being creative. You have to use creativity to form sentences from words and paragraphs from sentences. They don’t form themselves. They have to be created by you and your wonderful brain. So if you can string words together at all, then you are creative. It’s amazing how many of us, again myself included, forget this. How do you know what to say in an email to your friend? You have to use your creativity. We write things other than our stories and novels while we supposedly have been infected with “writer’s block” all the time. Something’s not right with this picture and it’s that you are creative and you can write anything you want, but you have to actually want to and you have to get over the fact that you think writing your story, novel or whatever you’re writing is any harder than writing a letter to a friend. It’s the same thing. It’s no harder. Really, it isn’t. You just think it is because it’s longer and scarier and society has conditioned you to believe writer’s block is real and that writing a novel is just about the hardest thing you can ever even imagine doing. Boo on you society. Break free, my friends. Embrace your creativity. It’s always there. Don’t give it the cold shoulder when you should embracing it!
2. Ever said anything, even a word? Creativity. Same principle as before. You have to use creativity and thought to form the words you speak. They aren’t created from a vacuum. It’s your creativity. Thought is deeply related to creativity here, by the way, because you need to have creativity to form thoughts, just like dreams and daydreamed scenes. If you can think, imagine, dream, or speak then you are creative and can write anything you want to write. So go do it.
So, how do you defend yourself against believing in writer’s block? Become like a honey badger.
The honey badger is really tough. It’s utterly fearless. It doesn’t care. There are plenty of youtube videos about them and their badassery. They just don’t take anything’s crap. You have to become a honey badger in the face of writer’s block. Trust me, writer’s block will cower before your intense ferocity and general toughness.
For more information about the honey badger watch this Vlogbrother’s video: http://youtu.be/x9Jr9JKpsX8
I hope this post has helped you. I know that it has been something I have been wanting to write for a while, I just hadn’t taken my own advice in the post sat down and written it, which is why I say this post was written for myself as much as for all of you. Also it’s helpful for writing my WIP.
Anyway, I’ve said enough for now.
Have a wonderful day everyone and DFTBA!