Writer’s block is not my worst enemy. Unlike most writers, I have learnt to accept the days when my creativity is not on full power. So, for me writer’s block is a part of the process. What really kicks me in the backside, is self-doubt. Yes, those old, silent voices that sneak around in the darker corners of my mind, and wait for just the right moment to stick one in. They are merciless.
Every writer, though I am certain this applies to nearly every creative out there, has these spikes in anxiety and apprehension. Usually right in the middle of a project, they question their talent and abilities. The process of writing is such a solitary endeavor, that the voices in your head, real or imagined, become an angry spiteful mob if you do not know how to deal with them.
Step away from the chaos, and recharge.
Not every battle needs to be fought head on. Sun Tzu said, “Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
My coping mechanism usually involves taking a complete break from writing and appreciating the works of other extraordinarily talented people. Sometimes I plan another project, or I would dedicate a month of focused energy on something unrelated.
Carl Jung once wrote, “there is no harsher bitterness than one who is his own worst enemy.” I will not waste time and energy fighting a battle with the darker side of my mind, it is counterproductive. That part of me exists for a reason, it is part of who I am, it is a crucial element in my creativity. Slaying it, or warring with it only exhausts me. I let the cave of my creativity sit dormant, while I recharge.
I know that the doubts and anxieties will pass with time, and it is in my best interest to walk away from that space until I am ready to re-enter. Uncertainty too, I have come to realize, is also a part of the process.
I am a freelance writer living in West Palm Beach. I observe and write about nearly everything and everyone I encounter. I have learnt that if I look at the world carefully, and long enough, I see a reflection of myself in everything. After all, we are what we put into the world.