I understand the frustration that comes with wanting to write. I understand that sometimes things don’t feel right. That frustration can cause a spiral. It can cause negative reactions but as conscious writers, it’s important that we focus this energy into our art and creativity. Use it in the story.
But first, encouragement! Because I know how that frustration can really bring you down.
You are a creative. You have boundless creative ideas that flow from the crown of your head to the tips of your toes. You bleed new ideas. You sweat stories that remain for centuries. You are here to listen, to observe, and to learn then to write it down. That may seem like an easy task, but it isn’t. Conscious writing is complex and layered and universel in ways that others will never understand, but they’ll want to. They will never know what you sacrificed to find these words. They will never know a lot of things you’ve gone through, and that’s ok. You know. I understand. So, let’s get back to writing.
Frustration is no fun
I envision tossing my computer on a regular basis. It sits between my heart and my stomach and bubbles over my entire body. If this feeling comes up with something I’m not committed to, I just walk away. But when it’s something I’m committed to (like writing), the tears well up and I push to adjust. It took time to learn to stay put even when I’m frustrated. But over time, I’ve learned a few techniques that help me use my frustration as an advantage rather than a hindrance.
What to Do With Our Frustration?
First things first. Figure out where the frustration is coming from. In the Harvard Gazette article titled Soothing Advice for Mad America, Dr. David H. Rosmarin explains that during the pandemic, frustrations are heightened and people are reacting with more anger than usual. Instead of reacting in anger, he suggests that we voice what really worries us about the things that make us angry. He suggested that,
we grow in our emotional strength when we admit and acknowledge [our] weakness.
So, the first thing to do is find the root to your frustration. What is frustrating you? What are you not getting that you wish or need to have? How can we fill this gap?
The second thing to do. Use your struggles to connect with other writers. Admit you’re struggling to writers. We are story machines, but it isn’t always easy and it’s important to admit that. In the same article mentioned above, Dr. Rosmarin said,
As attachment theory teaches us, what we really need is not to be strong, but to be close and connected to the people around us.
Connecting with like minds in a respectful manner is important me all the time. More important than I often admit. So, when I’m struggling I like to reach out for support. I appreciate the small group of people who have supported me through my struggles. Connecting with them mean more to me than the story
The third thing to do. Use what you have. Now that you’ve gotten to the bottom of your frustration, use that in your story. Use it in a poem. Use it as an idea for your next book. Journal about it.
This routine is what separates you from other writers. This is what makes you conscious and aware of who you are. I think the most challenging part of these tips for me is getting to the bottom of my frustrations. Figuring out where it is all coming from, but in the end it’s always worth it.
The blankets, slept in. The air thick with smoke from the magical stuff that turns your mind inward, too inward if you let it. I wouldn’t know, I’m more of a bore. The stale sweat rubs me in every wrong way while I tell myself I’m there for some divine reason. A few drops of blood drip from the crown of his head. Flashes of sex. Flashes of nude bones and rolling hills course through me like biblical visions from above. I don’t dare ask. And here he comes with all the magic and an entire universe behind his eyes that a few of us are lucky enough to see. I respect you, is what I wish to say. I like you- like you, is what I wish to say, but instead I talk about Chipotle. I want him and he wants me but I want more. The stink of stale sex and that feeling of whether he’ll be there tomorrow plagues me enough without it. “Not tonight, okay?” And that was ok. And it was ok. Like it should be. But it’s not the sex that connect us. The sadness that sits inside him reaches the depths of hell and the arms he wraps me in feel like the sun and the moon. He is an entire universe I’ll only ever leave in body because my mind wanders towards him in the most sacred ways. So sacred, it doesn’t feel right.
I have been asked to talk about God and genocide. This topic seems to be coming up a lot in my life over the past couple weeks. So, someone asking me to write about it just seems like a sign.
What should we make of this? This idea of God commanding the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group1. That is what genocide is, after all. And it doesn’t help to say that God never commanded such a thing, because He… definitely did.
For example, in Deu 25 Moses tells the assembly, “When the Lord your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not…
I wanted to share a poem of mine that was published on Genius in a Bottle a publication on Medium that I really admire.
I’ve been going through a literary theory course through open courseware. (You can find it here) And I’ve learned so much and in such an in depth way. The last few articles I’ve read that were required for the lectures gave me some clarity on how I can incorporate the strong arms in my life and use them to propel my art rather than allow it to stifle me in any way. Please click the link the link to enjoy the full poem and to support our art.
Am I but once Am I left for dead strapped head to a bed chasing after the wind’s howls? strapped to a life unplanned but a life always wanted it’s a yellow wood-left goes right right goes left As above so below so they say I zippered, then tore, now I’m here
Writer’s block’ is an emotional or logical incoherence in a future work slowly working its way through our unconscious. — Alain de Botton
So you’ve hit it, the emotional block. It grows. That block grows and grows until you’ve spent the day avoiding the one thing you love doing. It then turns into doubt and fear and all sorts of negative thoughts. So you shift your focus some more. It can turn into a vicious cycle gnashing at the little bit of confidence you have left.
I’m here to shed some light.
What is a writer’s block? More importantly what is a writer’s block for conscious writers?
Well, let’s start by discussing the fact that you are an amazing writer and you having a block does not make you any less or any more of a writer. It makes you a healthy functioning human being. If you’ve written to the point of a writer’s block, you are doing a phenomenal job. You have gotten past the hardest part and that’s being consistent enough to reach a block. On top of that, you are reading a post about how to unblock that block, which means, you are actively seeking to fix the problem instead of just walking away when it got hard. This is progress. This is maturity. Seriously. You are doing a great job. Do not let negative thoughts make you think for one second that you are not cut out for this, because let me tell you, if there’s anything you’re good at, it’s this.
So what is writer’s block?
It isn’t just a part of the story you can’t figure out. It is a psychological barrier that is holding you back. Before you can work on the block you’ve get to get yourself back into that creative space. Some things that help me step back into my creative space are to:
walk talk it out put away the story edit parts I’m not stuck on do something else creative focus on something else I’m interested in like research, empowering friends, or whatever else will take my mind off of it. write an unrelated poem or short story
These things really loosen up my brain space from tension. Once you get relaxed you can return to the writing space.
When you get back to that space it doesn’t mean the block is gone. It means you’re ready to figure out why it’s there so you can continue. Is the block emotional? Is something in this scene or idea triggering you? It seems at surface value that you’re fresh out of ideas but this isn’t true because you are an idea machine. You are made of amazing ideas sparked by infinite creativity.
How to get to the block.
Look at what you’re adding to your story. Is it something directly related to your life? Is there something you feel limited from in your life. If it is, how can you change your perception to use what’s limiting you in a positive way?
Another way I’ve learned to look at a block is what’s going on outside of my writing. Am I exhausted? Have I been pushing yourself too hard? Am I getting too comfortable or eating too much junk. Now, don’t let your head spin from all these questions. These are good questions to ask regularly whether you have a writers block or not.
When I first started writing, I’d walk away and say I can’t write or I don’t know what to write. I’d have all sorts of writers block excuses but the truth was I was frustrated about something else. The longer I tried to ignore it, the longer I couldn’t write. So when I was ready to face the reason why I couldn’t write, things would begin to fall back into place.
Even if you’re not going through the dreaded writer’s block, these questions will help you learn who you are.
Now when you first hear the writers den, you might think of Roald Dahl’s writing hut (which can be found here). A place where a writer goes to find solace so they can write novels, think, daydream, and nap. This is not the writers den I’m referring to. I’m referring to the writer’s den where writers are thrown to the lions. This is where their only option is to have faith.
There is a biblical story about a man of God named Daniel. I respect this story because so many times we roll over on our true beliefs or dreams or endeavors to bow to someone who doesn’t understand our vision. In this story, Daniel was demanded to stop with his religious practices of praying to God. Instead of having religious freedom, he was ordered to pray only to the king. Daniel, knowing his faith is where it needed to be, refused to obey this law, and continued to pray to his God. So, they totally saw Daniel pray and snitched on him to the King who was friends with Daniel.
So now, the king has to be a man of his word because he’s the king and it’s a written decree. When they bring Daniel to the king, he doesn’t waiver in his own belief. He stands tall for his beliefs and allows himself to be thrown into a lion’s den per order of the decree.
The king is friends with Daniel so the next morning, he runs with angst and worry to the lion’s den and finds that God sent an angel to shut the mouths of the lions.
The point here isn’t to question whether this story is true or if the lions were well fed before he was thrown in there. The point is that Daniel stood his ground in a time of great trial.
So, as writers, who are consciously writing (which means we are writing for more than just a story, we’re writing to grow) there are going to come times of great trial when it comes to your writing. People are going to speak ill of your belief and faith in writing. People are going to have great and logical reasons for you to stop writing, but you are going to be resilient. Like Daniel worked on and invested in his relationship with God, you have work on and invested in your relationship with your writing. Not only will you survive but you will have an even stronger ability to trust your work as an artist and as a conscious writer.
When someone mentions the writers den, I’d like you to think of it as a strong commitment to your craft. Not a place of solace away from the world, but a place in the world where you are doing exactly what you are called to do.
The writer must learn to accept that and trust that they are where they are for some reason. – Scott Myers from “Trust the Process”
I am a serial book reader. I find it hard to finish a novel before picking up another. I read one book in the morning or afternoon and then another before going to sleep. I recently discovered that there are several serial book readers just like me, so I have explained the main reasons I chose to read this way.
What is a serial book reader?
A serial book reader is a person who reads multiple books at a go.
Three main reasons I am a serial book reader
1. There isn’t enough time in the day
There isn’t enough time in the day, and even though I find myself working from home (as a result of the pandemic), I still feel as though I only have those few hours (during lunchtime and just before going to sleep) to read.