Monday, September 17, 2012

Ron's Column: Writer's Block.


I sat here wanting to pen something with the structural brilliance of ancient architecture.

It wasn't coming to me.

But in the disappointment of not being able to come up with the words I needed to pen my masterpiece, another topic came to me.

Writer's block. The bane of the amateur's existence.

I could have easily allowed my not being able to put together what I wanted to be chalked up to writer's block but I refuse to give something I don't believe in credit for determining how dope I'm going to be within the confines of my chosen topic for that day.

Writer's block is a built-in excuse passed on to generations of amateur writers while professionals make money and reputations off the time others wasted in wallowing in the depths of 'writer's block'.

The only person blocking the writer is the writer. If you can't write about what you truly want to write about, write about something else then come back to it. I'd do that here but Riva is already preparing to put a boot to my neck for being late with this piece so I got to satisfy the boss lady.

I always tell writers that you have to keep writing. You have to keep letting the words come out. Eventually, it'll start to make sense. It'll start to look like something that will stand on its own and you'll be happy to slap your name on it.

But to just, not write at all? Stopping because what I'm writing sucks?

Never that, fam.

I can't do such a thing. Most writers have written more words not seen by the public than they have written words that actually make it to public consumption. I have unfinished poems, screenplays, short stories, novels, because I needed to write. Yeah, maybe each one of those pieces was utter trash and I should be ashamed of myself for even considering taking the time to pen them. But each was a learning experience that I used to get through a later piece.

Each time a writer sits down to pen something, it is a learning experience. No one ever masters writing. But they can master their own creative process. What is it that they need in order to be at their best.

I usually need my writer's playlist (yes, I have one on YouTube), something to drink and an emotional muse. I feed off the energy my life provides, both good and bad. Even if I'm not writing about that particular event, the emotion derived from that event can fuel my ability to produce what is needed.

That is my process. And including writer's block and its litany of self-imposed limitations is not a part of it.

-ron-