At a poetry reading I attended recently, the guest poet was asked the inevitable question all writers must face:

What do you do when you get writers’ block?!?!?

For the record, I fight writers’ block. It is a little terrifying having no ideas, especially if it occurs in the middle of a project with a deadline. All writers can understand this.

It makes us question our abilities as writers.

There is probably nothing writers hate more. (Except maybe not getting recognition or being underpaid…)

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The most frustrating part of writers’ block for me is when it gets in the way of my getting an idea on paper. The words won’t flow; they don’t mesh or make sense. I know what I want to happen, but can’t seem to get the words to cooperate.

We all handle writers’ block differently, but I know I am not alone in regarding it as a hindrance. A frustrating, annoying, scary nuisance.  Sort of like the flu in daily life.

It happens to everyone and we develop ways to cope, but we all dislike the experience and embrace life with relief when it passes. An inconvenience.

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So I was very surprised, shocked, (just a touch disbelieving?) when this poet admitted that he didn’t really see writers’ block as a problem.

This man writes for a living! I, and probably everyone else in the room, expected him to share the practical frustration of the phenomenon that would threaten his livelihood and passion.

But the poet explained that he, after writing for most of his adult life, now sees writers’ block as a chance to reflect. To pause. To sit in the moment and take a break from the creative rush. He saw the block as a gift. A blessing and a moment to be treasured and used wisely.

He saw writers’ block as a gift and a blessing…

And I wanted SO BADLY to believe him. Since that reading, I have had ‘the gift’ 😛 rudely dropped into my lap several times and, yes, I still respond with panic, frustration, fear, and worry that I will never write again, etc.

I’ve also sat with it longer. Tried to dissect and describe how it made me feel.

And maybe, just maybe, I paused for a fraction of a second and was blessed.

 

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© When Almonds Blossom, 2019

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