Writer’s Block: A Remedy

It’s really something that happens to not only writers, but everyone. There will come a point where you’re not sure what to create – be it drawing,writing, composing…

You think you know the answer to it. A lot of people will just say, you need to just push through it. NO. Writing badly is still bad writing. Of course you can just take it as practice, but let’s not pretend that sometimes pushing through garbage means that you’re just pushing garbage around.

The important thing is to look at why you do something. Remember Simon Sinek’s – Start With Why video? Well, why do you write? Why do people write? Why create something? What purpose does your creation serve? So maybe you say you like to write. That’s fine and a valid reason for doing so. But ultimately, most people create something to be consumed. A chef creates a meal to be eaten. A producer creates a film to be watched. And so why does a writer write for? They write something in order for it to be read.

So what do you do when you hit a block? The natural antithesis is to consume when you can’t create. When a chef runs out of ideas about what to cook, they probably go and eat something new. Although they could just wing it and try to cook something new, it’s quite possible that they will create something magnificent or something totally inedible. And the thing is sometimes failure doesn’t feel like the mother of success and you stop doing things altogether.

The truth is: it is much better to take a backseat as an audience member and watch a show with different actors if you yourself can’t seem to pull of your part. There is something to learn from everyone. If you take Maria Callas for example, considered one of the most influential opera singers of the 20th century – who would stay at the music conservatory for 10 hours a day until the last pupil finished. Her teacher asked why she did this and she said:

“Even with the least talented pupil, he can teach you something that you, the most talented, might not be able to do.”

Maria Callas, soprano

She never thought she was ‘above’ anyone in terms of learning and that holds true for anyone. I once came across a violin teacher who played beautifully and yet he humbly stated, “I’m still learning.” A chef trying to create a new dish, would benefit from eating another person’s dish, as well as sampling new and different flavors. Like a chef who likes to cook and eat, a writer must also love to write and read. And that’s not just tasting your own dishes or reading your own work.

Like fellow writer, Cristian Mihai says, you can often hit inspiration to write by reading. Yes, reading. I’ve found that I’m usually able to spark something when I’m actually consuming someone else’s content. It can be a book, a poem, a blog post, an opinion piece, lyrics… almost anything. And because I’ve done just that, I’ve actually been able to write this piece. So next time you hit a block or a wall, remember it’s best to just step away for the moment, go take a break, go on a walk, stretch, read a book, watch a show, play a game, drink some water because the princess is not in this castle tool that you need to break down that wall with or dig around is somewhere else.