I’ve touched on writer’s block before with a heartfelt break up letter but now it’s time to get to the tender underbelly of it. Writer’s block isn’t exclusively for those working on a manuscript or a blog post. It isn’t limited to journalists or ghost writers. It can hit anybody at any time but to others, writer’s block will look and feel like a burn out. “I’m just tired,” they’ll say. It’s typically heard from college students slaving over a term paper or a cruel twenty page homework assignment.
During my college years I remember those burn outs and writer’s block. More times than I liked, I would be up at three in the morning working on a paper due in six hours. Factor in still needing to sleep and anybody would understand why people call it a burn out. Stress piles on top of stress and before you know it, you’re ready to bang your head against your keyboard in hopes magic will happen and the paper will finish itself.
What I came to learn then was that there’s no rushing it. I couldn’t put a stick of dynamite in the block to blow it up. There was no sleeping on it especially when half the time deadlines were looming with a threat of an F. Patience was one part of the puzzle. The other was perseverance. No matter how dark it seemed, I had to keep moving. Step by step, word by word. A sadly formed paragraph may be the consequence of trudging through a writer’s block but it would get me to the other side with renewed strength and conviction.
I’ve forgotten that recently but since remembering it, I haven’t stopped. I try to write a little every day. To stop means giving in and if I give in then I don’t know when I’ll start up again. My advice is to keep at it. Don’t expect something amazing though. It’s not meant to be stressful or perfect; it’s meant to be the bridge to get you there.