Late in April, I heard about NaPoWriMo—National Poetry Writing Month. No, I didn’t participate. Not only did I not know about it, but ironically, I’ve had writer’s block since April 1. I tried using my as-yet-undeveloped poems as a springboard, but nothing…not a poetic phrase in my body all month. I suppose it had to happen at some point, but I feel kind of lonely without little poetic bits popping into my head. It’s May 3 and I’m still waiting for my po-ju (poetic juices) to come back.
So, what happened? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s merely the natural ebb and flow of writing. Maybe it’s that I finally gave in and got on Facebook on April 1. I haven’t gotten on there much, but because of the timing I can’t help but wonder if it didn’t suck the inspiration right out of me. Or maybe it’s because a particular cause of angst at work was brought to the attention of management and dealt with (somewhat), at least temporarily. I hope that’s not it. How agonizing to have your ability to write be tied to angst and drama being present in your life. I know that’s how it works for a lot of people, but I’d rather be a happy poet than a miserable one.
I still have opportunities to write. I’m writing this blog and I write things at work; I just can’t tap into the poetic part of myself right now. Not even a rhymey-chimey poem. Pouty face. I love writing poems.
Writer’s block makes you doubt your abilities. It brings with it the fear that you may never be able to write again. You have to keep reminding yourself that it will pass and you will write again.
So why do we get writer’s block? To give our brains a rest? To force us to further tap into our creativity and imagination? Many writers will tell you their ideas are “just handed” to them, gifts from God. But the writer has to learn to see, to listen, and to recognize the inspiration God is putting in front of them. Writer’s block reminds us not to become complacent and take the gift for granted.
Think of writer’s block as an opportunity to evolve and grow as a writer. It might ease the frustration.
Have you had writer’s block? What did you do to get through it? Did you learn anything from it?