Friday, January 10, 2014

What Happens When I Forget Who I Am

I've been stuck. 

In a creative quagmire. 

I'd call it writer's block but if - as Mitch Joel reminded me in his blog this morning - you listen to Steve Pressfield or Seth Godin - no such thing exists. As much as I admire and respect all three, the fact remains that my ability to get words on paper has been obstructed, blocked, closed down - whatever you'd like to call it - since the New Year started. 

I feel like one of those automobiles in the now infamous traffic jam that was the brainchild of Chris Christie's staff last September. Sitting amidst this congestion of ideas and projects - all spinning in my head with nowhere to go and  no idea when the mess will let up and things start flowing again.



I've tried all my usual tricks including reading my own book and setting my egg timer. I sit and I don't let myself get up until it goes off. But I don't have much to prove for it. 

Mitch Joel asserts the Internet will break your creative block. On the one hand I agree with him because I do find reading what others write a source of inspiration. Case in point was reading his blog this morning. On the other hand it can be a huge time waster if one is not disciplined with it.

But I can't blame trolling Facebook on this stoppage. In fact, as much as I would like to affix responsibility to someone else I have really only myself to blame.

I have been writing. Just nothing I really like. Nothing I think is really good enough to be shared. Nothing that passes Upworthy's  quality test regarding content.

The one that really trips me up is "If 1 million people saw it, would the world be a better place?"   

I'd like to think so. Hope so. Believe so. But really? 

Those are the kind of suggestions that make me wonder if I will ever share one more word with anyone - ever! 

As I am writing this it's occurring to me that perhaps that might be one of the things that is contributing to the lack of creative output at the moment. I've been trying too hard. I've been waiting for perfection. I've been comparing myself to the infinite scroll of everything else that is out there and telling myself it's not as good.

I've forgotten who I am. 

A writer. 

Above all, I am a writer at my core. And a true writer writes so they can breathe. They write to function. They write to make sense of life. They write to remember who they are.

And if they wind up resonating with a million - or even one person - then that is a very good day. 

A special thanks to Mitch Joel - for the inspiration for this post!

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