I thought that I was immune to writers block. Silly me.
Writing helps me process my emotions and organize my thoughts. But when my mom passed away about 9 months ago, my creative juices stopped. I found that I couldn’t write a thing until I wrote about my mom. I’d start writing a blog, and somehow my grief would sneak its way in to my piece and it would turn into a blog about how I enjoyed a certain activity despite my current emotional state. Then, I’d delete all mention of my mom, re-read the piece, ask myself, ‘what’s the point?’ and delete the entire thing.
I soon realized I couldn’t continue writing for my blog until I wrote a dedicated piece about her and the experience I went through.
Getting Laid Off, and Writers Block
Flash forward to today. At the beginning of April, I was laid off from my full time marketing job. I’m 26-years-old; this is my first experience being laid off and I am still mortified by the way I handled being laid off…
“Thanks for the opportunity!” I said genuinely as I was handed my last paycheck and escorted out of the building. I smiled, shook everyone’s hands, packed a box of my personal items, and went along my merry way as if I was just given a coupon for a buy-one-get-one-free Wendy’s Frosty.
Let me clarify — I’m mortified because it was one of the few opportunities in my life when I could have shown a bit of anger and no one at the organization would have been surprised. But I wasn’t raised that way; and even now if I went back to that moment I would have handled it the same way.
Now, I have writers block. My current employment situation is all I can think about and write about. It’s sneaking its way into my everyday conversations and into my writing.
“Monday’s don’t suck when you’re unemployed!” I shouted to the grocery store clerk on my way past the avocados, for absolutely no reason at all.
Overcoming Writers Block
I began searching for the cure to writers block and came across an interesting article. Artist Lee Hammond wrote a post titled, Art Therapy | How to Overcome Artist Block. In her post, she says, “There is never a lack of subject matter; just absence of creativity.” When Lee hits creative block and doesn’t feel like drawing, she grabs just a small piece of a photo and draws that — my best guess is that a mini piece doesn’t feel quite as daunting as a full project.
I am handling my writers block similarly to Lee. I’m allowing myself to write from my heart, rather than my mind. And I’m allowing myself to write only what sounds bearable in this moment — currently, that’s my unemployment.
Creative blocks are very common. If you are struggling to write, draw, compose music, etc., take away the pressures and create just a snippet of it — only the fun part, or just the parts that are begging to come out. Take it one step at a time, it’ll come back to you; it’ll come back to me too.
Thanks for reading,