It got to the point where it actually felt mentally crippling.
I’ve had Writer’s Block before, as every other writer has, and I know that ever other type of creative out there has experienced their own kinds of blocks. Sometimes it comes on because it’s just one of those days where nothing comes out right and you need to step back before you can move forward.
That wasn’t the kind of block that I felt this time.
This time, it was making me frantic. I wanted to work on creative things, but I found myself only working on the things that I believed could bring in solid revenue. When you’re in the creative professions, that’s almost an oxymoron, but all the same, I wanted to produce tangible merchandise that I could hold in my hands, take pictures of, and then list for sale online. I was ferociously productive, but I actually worked myself nearly to the point of exhaustion. I felt like I just needed to be doing something, and if I was producing actual items rather than words on a page, I seemed to be doing better mentally.
As it turns out, though, that just led to a deeper sense of anxiety on my part. I started thinking that my other creative projects were worthless, and began to worry (not for the first time) that I had sunk a ton of time into them, only to finally realize that they were never going to go anywhere, and I should just stop trying. That included my writing. All of it. Book 2 of the Star Hunters trilogy, Fire and Feathers, and any and all ideas for future projects I had.
I have a lot of sources of stress in my life, and my writing did not need to be one of them. It couldn’t be. It would suffer if it was. I knew it would. Any yet, it turned into my own personal monster. Worse yet, I let it.
I was able to pull myself out after talking to someone very close to me. I realize that there are those out there who don’t have that luxury, and that really makes me all the more grateful that that person was there for me when I needed them. So, with their help, I got over the block, and am happy to say that I’ve been writing up a storm since then. I had to clean slate my second novel in order to get back into it, but that went from 10 pages to 83 over the course of this past week. It’s a first draft, so they’re not 83 pages of solid gold, but they’re written, and that’s the important thing.
As to the all-important point of this post?
There isn’t one, really. Just the hope that, in the off-chance someone who is struggling with their own creative block comes across it, they might realize that it’s not that their work is worthless, or pointless, or not very good. It’s just that, sometimes, we get stuck in our own minds, and we could use some help getting out. And even if we don’t have help, sometimes it’s good to just remind ourselves that yes, we’re scared and yes, we’re dealing with some risky decisions, but no, it wouldn’t be better to drop it all. It can be difficult to remember why we started something, but all the stress and anxiety and fear that fills the middle can never compare with the satisfaction of reaching the end.
Creative projects are like marathons. You can’t sprint them, and you just have to take them at your own pace.