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Talk To The Block

[Day 8 of 365]:

It seems that I’m having some serious difficulties with Writer’s Block today.  So I decided to take the advice of the awesome Pirate Queen Havi and imagine myself talking to my Writer’s Block.  Maybe it can tell me why I’ve been procrastinating all day today and torturing myself with my lack of quality writing output.  By talking to my Writer’s Block and asking it (meaning my subconscious mind) for help, I might actually learn a few things about what’s going on in my cluttered writers brain.  Havi calls it getting Hot Buttered Epiphanies, so bring on the popcorn.

So for today’s writing prompt, I used a short-short version of Havi’s awesome process. I promise I’m not going crazy but I am going to swim in the deep end of the pool for a minute. Basically, I just let my subconscious mind talk to me directly. I feel a little exposed posting it here, but I’m happy to have gleaned a few useful tidbits out of the process (which I underlined).   If you’ve been stuck with Writer’s Block for a while, you might want to try it.

Sit down in a quiet place, close your eyes, and imagine you’re in room with a big red door in the corner.  Suddenly the door opens and there it is, your Writer’s Block.  The first thing it says is “I’m here to help!”  You greet it nicely and ask your writer’s block “What are you trying to tell me?”  Then have a conversation and write down any epiphanies that you discover.

(A multi-colored block walks in, looking like a cross between a unbalanced clown and a Lego. It’s got short wobbly legs and long thin arms with white gloves around his hands.  I feel like I’ve fallen into a children’s video and I’m about to learn how to recite the alphabet.)

LV: My dear Writer’s Block, you’ve been making it really hard to write today.  What are you trying to tell me?
Writer’s Block: Stop pushing.  You’re pushing things too hard.
LV: Um, what am I pushing on?
Writer’s Block: The writing, the work. The expectation of perfection everywhere you go.  You just neeed to stop it.
LV: Yes, I feel very tired when I think about writing sometimes.
Writer’s Block: No, that’s not what I mean.  This is more urgent.
LV: Okay.  I’m listening.  Can you explain this to me.
Writer’s Block: You’re just holding on to all those expectations, all those standards and they aren’t even yours.  Eat this, not that. Workout here, not there. You’re not doing enough, then you’re doing too much.  Work early, write everyday.  Make time to watch TV, relax, and play.  Walk dog, cook, do dishes.  Just STOP.
LV: But I don’t want to drop the ball.  What will happen if I stop juggling the balls.  I’m afraid to lose them.  How can I keep juggling them when they make me feel so tired?
Writer’s Block: Just stop.  Stay here for a minute. You’re making me dizzy.
LV: (I laugh at my Writer’s Block twirling around in a circle, juggling purple and red blocks.  Then, I realize I can sit down in an imaginary chair at an imaginary table.  Apparently the block and I are having tea with a lovely white porcelain tea set, which is even more odd than a crazy clown with extremely sharp corners juggling balls.)
Writer’s Block: Look. You’re hiding too much.  You’re keeping secrets because you’re afraid they’ll see.
LV: Afraid who will see what?
Writer’s Block: You’re afraid to admit that you might not be a writer.  Afraid they’ll know you suck and yet, you’re forcing yourself to write.  You need to play instead.

LV: How can I let go and play?
Writer’s Block: First, admit that you think you suck. Then do what you want anyway.
LV: I do think I suck, don’t I? (I get rather sad here and my block pours me another cup of earl grey.  Don’t worry, things perk up in a minute)
Writer’s Block: But it’s actually okay to suck.  It only hurts your pride.  Just remember that you’re at the beginning.
LV: Wait, so that mean I can either get better at writing or let it go if it’s not fun anymore.  And both options are totally okay, because it’s the beginning. Yipee! I have a lot to learn.  So how can I keep facing this fear?
Writer’s Block: Keep checking in on how you feel about being a writer.  Keep consciously letting it go.  Do the things you enjoy because you enjoy them.  Create more opportunities to explore being a writer.  Tell anyone who says “should” to fuck off. (at least in your head)

So how will I know when I’m finally a good writer?
Writer’s Block: Ask yourself if you have what you want right now.
LV: Yes & No.  I have lots of goals and aspirations but I have a pretty good life too.
Writer’s Block: Do you believe that when you have everything that you want , you’ll stop wanting things.
Probably not.  Are you saying I should be happy with what I have accomplished?
Writer’s Block: I just want you to see that what you’ve accomplished so far, is more than you had accomplished last year and yet, you still want more.
LV: So I wanted to do a lot of things last year and I’ve actually done most of them, but now I want to have new experiences. Specifically playful experiences with writing.

(A huge light bulb goes on above my head and there’s some odd choir singing going on in the background.  A flurry of glitter fall down from the ceiling.)

Oh, I get it! I will always have desires, but I don’t have to be ruled by them.
(the block, the juggling, the tea cups, table, and chairs disappear with a puff of smoke, but the light bulb stays on.)

How do you work past, around or through Writer’s Block?  Have you ever tried something unconventional to reach your goal?  Do you think I’m going nuts?

Comments, links to your writing prompt results, and lurkers are always welcome.

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