The Truth About Writer’s Block

The creative well within
Drains and dries when lies begin.
It’s the original artist’s sin.

“CREATIVE PIECES”, A MIND FULL OF COLOR

If you’re experiencing writer’s block (or any artistic block) and can’t figure out why, I’ll tell you the truth: it’s because you’re lying.

Before 14 years old, I was writing like it was my job with no intent other than expression. I felt like I couldn’t help it and there was nothing more fun for me to do.

The summers before turning 14 and 15, I was writing hundreds of pages thanks to finally having a computer. I’d sit by the computer the entire day, forgoing food, TV, and other fun just to write. If I wasn’t writing, I was reading.

However, I was getting older and needed to consider my future. The gold of writing with only the intention to express was spun into thoughts of currency and career. It became hard for me to write because as I wrote, I was consistently blocked by thoughts of approval:

Who’ll read this? What will they think of it? What will they think of me? Will it be good enough to make money from?

The first lie: I need outside approval of my creative expression.

Writers are inkblocked,
So stuffed, shellshocked
By lies not unlocked.

“CREATIVE PIECES”, A MIND FULL OF COLOR

I spent most of the next 15 years with writer’s block. I did write in that time, but I knew the words didn’t come from the place of my truest imagination. They were dense with thoughts of validation, mere illusionary verbiage forced into the light to make me feel better about who I thought I needed to be. Whoever I was becoming was overshadowed by my desire to please with words.

I lost so much belief in myself I initially took on journalism in my freshman year of college and eventually shimmied towards a creative writing minor by my senior year. By sophomore year I convinced myself a psychology degree was best because I’d be really good at character depth as a result.

I joined several roleplaying boards as well over the years and I couldn’t figure out why myself and others were taking weeks to write back to each other. Was it lack of inspiration or was there lots of lies (including drama) hindering our expression?

Inspiration does not thrive
Where out of sync lies jive.
The truth keeps art alive.

“CREATIVE PIECES”, A MIND FULL OF COLOR

Here are some candles, flashlights, stadium lights, and even the sunlight as you step into the darkness created by your creative doubt and silence to retrieve your truth, your artist box. If there’s something profound you’re hiding or lying about, your creativity will suffer.

Over the years, many lies kept me from creative freedom. Anything I’ve produced since 15 years old came from a place of telling myself truths. An opening would then appear, creativity would pour out, and then I’d get stuck again from neglecting other truths.

It doesn’t matter what kind of lie it is. As long as it keeps you from being yourself to any extent, it starts a block chain. When too many chains lock in, creativity gets blocked from coming out.

I’ve been having blocks recently because there are a few things I want to talk about, but I still feel hesitant about sharing. Everything I try to write that isn’t the truth I want to share, sounds contrived and left brained. I feel scared that it’s too cynical and dark.

Will people think something is wrong with me? I pondered. How many friends, family, and people will I distance or lose?

It’s still a process, a journey. I’ve been dabbling with shadow work recently and finding true love in all shades of my humanity. Hiding them hurts not just me, but my potential and everything and everyone I touch. As long as I worry about you, any and all of you, there’s no me.

Nurture with honesty;
Let loose dishonesty;
Create whole and consciously.

“CREATIVE PIECES”, A MIND FULL OF COLOR

See A Mind Full of Color for more shadow work and truth.

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