When was the last time you experienced writer’s block? What do you think brought it about — and how did you dig your way out of it?
I get writer’s block all the time. What’s worse is that I’m a procrastinator, but once I’m stuck into something I’m there, all of me.
The procrastination is exacerbated by ADD — which I was only diagnosed with a few years ago. I’m 66. It explains so much, including my anxiety. It makes it hard to me to sit still, to focus. My mind goes from thought to thought, and I have trouble making decisions. For these reasons writing is actually therapeutic for me, not just because I have feelings that sometimes need to be expressed, but because it helps to focus my mind on something until it is complete.
Having said that, sometimes I find that when I read a prompt — or have an idea for an article or story — I either have something immediate to say and sit down and write it, or, knowing how the mind works, I let the idea percolate in my head until I feel ready to put finger to keys. The daily blog is good because it give me a deadline, and forces me to come to grips with the topic in one day. If I still don’t know what to say, I really may have to fudge it a little, but once I start writing, more ideas seem to fall into place.
One instructor suggests “free writing” for 5 minutes without stopping as a way to unclog the writer’s mind, and I try it from time to time, but even sabotage myself in that by not being able to get my defenses down, my idea of correctness set aside, so that I can just write.
I keep backing off my children’s writing, which I have stated as a goal. I don’t know why — except that it’s a lack of confidence. I haven’t committed myself fully enough to get into the battle. Maybe I just don’t want to work that hard!
Even though I feel like I’m a good writer (I didn’t say talented or exceptional), there’s still so much to learn — so far to go. Am I up for the long-haul, or just using that as an excuse.
The more I learn the more I know what I don’t know. The curse of growing up.