The Battle of the Block

Fighting Writer’s Block

Writing your first sentence could be daunting, horrible, or even impossible. You watched that blinking cursor patiently waiting for you to type a word, but nothing is happening. You wished it would move on its own and miraculously type some words for you if not sentences would even be better.

Imagine finishing a whole article, when you are already struggling to write a simple sentence.

You wonder too how to begin.

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If you see that vast space on top of this, that is something I purposely skipped. I’ve got nothing to write, as a matter of fact. I honestly at this time of the night, couldn’t come up with anything to begin my article. It has been three days that I have struggled to shake things off my head.


I shifted the time from the day and tried to write at night. There you go, I still have blank spaces in between.


If you think I’m talking nonsense, well I agree with you on that, and

If you’re saying I am experiencing “writer’s block”, you’re not wrong.


I have no definition of what writer’s block means, nor I can give advice on how to tackle such a thing.


What I can only imagine about writer’s block is like a brick wall in front of me. It is too close to my face, and that I couldn’t see what is behind it.

I can also associate writer’s block like a white canvas with nothing on it. Even traces of sketches that the artist have done is no longer visible. Just plain white canvas.

Like many other writers, I have experienced the pain of writer’s block, not only once, twice, but many times.

Imagine how difficult it is if you write for a living or working on a deadline. Experiencing the writer’s block is going to slow your writing process.

Right now, as I write this article, I am beginning to feel the flow of some words coming out of my head, simply because I just kept on typing anything. It is like talking to a friend, whining just about everything, including not being able to finish this article.

Fighting writer’s block is like fighting with a black belt ninja expert. You want to crash that brick wall, but you need steady hands and legs to kick it down to pieces.

For someone like my age, that is not even possible. To beat it, I gave my writer’s block a name: “TORA” meaning “tiger”.

Tigers are fierce and territorial animals. They won’t leave, and they will take over.

I know that whenever Tora is hanging around me again, I feel that I can’t write. I call out his name aloud, I yell, I get angry, and I order him to get out of my way. It is easy to release your frustration, especially if there is something you could focus on, like a name.

Sometimes, I take a break. I leave my computer and watch the TV briefly. There are other times that I take a nap and then wake up fresh to start again. I know that lack of sleep is one cause of the mental block.

I never cleared up my desk. The clutter makes me keep going back to my work if there were papers and books scattered on my desk. I always feel that I have some writing to finish right away.

Fighting writer’s block or Tora as I call it is quite tricky. It would stay for as long as it likes. It could take days, weeks, or even months.


WHEN THAT HAPPENS, IT CALLS FOR DRASTIC ACTION!

I use music as my weapon of destruction. Michael Bublé always comes to my aid. I like jazz, and I like almost all his songs. 

Some say, listening to music without the lyrics would calm us down. I have no personal preferences when it comes to that, for as long as they are my favourite songs.

TORA doesn’t like music. It makes him sleepy, lazy, and ineffective. He would still try to put in a fight and hang around for as long as he can.

He doesn’t like jazz. It would kill him to listen to me sing. The only way is to retreat and leave me alone. Having a lousy singing voice sometimes helps. Can you believe that?

There are countless of advice we could gather to help us overcome writer’s block. Some are more scientific, and some are simple personal take.

Whichever you want to proceed, it all depends on how you handle it.

We all have a writing system that we could change or simplify to make our writing process more accessible.

Writer’s block or mental block is never going to leave us. It will always be around any time or any day. If we develop a system, then, we could always go around it and beat it to the ground.

Hopefully, it would never come back.

Happy writing!

“Back to Work Blues” and Writer’s Block

It is the beginning of the working week for the year 2020. Some of us are probably still feeling tired and lazy.

Some are wrapped up with plans and seriously thinking that something positive could happen this year. Of course, it’s New Year – a new idea, new hope, and a new beginning.

We all want to have a fresh start. That is what the new year means for all of us. It marks a new beginning – to restart and to do things better.

The holiday season may be a welcome break for all of us, but to others, it is a bit of disruption to their daily routine.

The gap between Christmas and New Year is so small, only one week to be exact. Yet, it felt like it was a lengthy vacation.

We allowed ourselves to overindulge with all the things we would never do in our regular daily routines. We drank too much alcohol. We ate junk foods, lots of sweets, stayed up late at night, and the list could go on and on.

Then, we all must face reality. We must go back to work.  

Going back to work to continue what we left behind is a struggle. It is hard to go back to our desk that was once cluttered with notes and papers, and where all electronic devices never get turned off.

Somehow, we must return to our desk to continue what we left behind during the festive season.

Whatever we have on our plate this year, our writing should always have a spot in our busy calendar. Otherwise, it will never get done.

I could understand the feeling of being a little bit anxious, especially turning on that computer again and thinking about what to write.

We feel that we have lost our momentum in writing. No matter how much we shake our heads, nothing is coming out, not a word or a single idea.

It felt like we are facing a brick wall, and we could not see anything behind it.

We want to break that wall in front of us, so we could think again, but it seems harder and frustrating.

It is hard when you are still feeling nostalgic about your vacation and wishing it never ended.

It is hard too when all you could think of is to check your social media content for photos and messages from your friends and families.

We shared a good laugh and memorable moments with them. Reminiscing those times how we acted silly and funny, and it was perfectly okay with them. Wiping off that smile on our face was hard because that was the only time, we let ourselves lose and vulnerable.

And that should have been enough.

Instead, we couldn’t shake them off our heads. We yawned in front of that bright screen on our computer. Our heads are empty. That brick wall in front of us seems to get bigger and taller. We couldn’t see anything except flashbacks of the best Christmas break we had.

Our daily writing routine would slowly come back to us. Perhaps, we would have already thought of something better to make our working schedules more achievable.

To ease back to work would take a little bit of time. But, whatever you do, make sure that it doesn’t take you that long.

There is no excuse for why we couldn’t write. We had our breaks, our time out from the daily grinds in our life.

It’s time to go back to work.

If we continue to make excuses, we will never write again.