I woke up this morning wanting to write something for the blog. As I opened the page, however, nothing came out of my fingertips. Having writer's block is all too common for me and has often made me think maybe writing isn't my thing, I've just gotten lucky a couple of times. Has that happened to you?
Mental blocks happen all the time, whether it's in a creative field or in an academic field. To me, it happens most often when I have to do something. For example, I took many writing classes and many art classes as well. When I could write just to write, it flowed naturally. If I had an assignment and I had a couple of days to do it, eventually inspiration struck and out came the words or out came the surge of artistic flow. However, if I had to do work IN CLASS for before the class was over, my mind would shut down and it would take a longer time to start the project at hand.
Mental blocks are scary, because they make you feel like you've lost all creativity and you'll never be able to create again. At least, that's what it does for me. But some of my best works come right after a mental block.
The way I have always pictured it is a locked door, in which what I need to write or draw is on the other side. All I have to do is find the key. So what do I do to find that key?
If it's a writer's block, I usually do this! I start writing down everything I'm thinking, even if it doesn't make sense. Just a jumble of words. Sometimes, it's just pages and pages of nonsense. When I get tired of writing, I stop and I read it back. Usually, at some point in the reading, a bulb lights up! And the door unlocks. That's usually when I start writing and don't stop until I literally run out of ideas or because I have to stop for some reason. I know that if I stop writing, I will lose the mojo and it won't be back for a while, so I have to write in bursts.
If it's an art block, the key is practically the same, but in art form. I scribble and doodle and just make shapes until suddenly, I want to draw or make something. I don't draw very often, however, just because I can't find the time to do so. Drawing takes a lot more time for me than writing does, for some reason, and it's definitely a craft that if I stop, it could me months before I touch it again. I've had a canvas in my room that was supposed to be a Christmas gift around 2 years ago. Yeesh
Something that also helps me a lot for both is using prompts! I ask a friend or a family member to give me a sentence or an image and I work from there. One of my favorite short stories I've done came out of something like that. I was entering a writing contest and couldn't think of what to write about. So I asked my mom to help me and she just said "reincarnation." After she said that, I sat down on my phone, opened the notes app and wrote down a short story right there. I showed it to my mom and she loved it! I didn't win the contest, but it was my first contest with my first short story and I was proud of it!
The important thing is to not lose interest in the long run, which is what I did. It's why I started this blog. I graduated 2 years ago and stopped writing almost immediately. And that can't happen. I have to write. If I stop, I won't start again. And hopefully you guys can read me soon on a hard-cover novel, just like I've always dreamed of.
Here's my question to you guys: What do you do to get over a mental block?
Thank you for reading!