Social Love: Take THAT Writer’s Block!

I’ve been suffering head splitting writer’s block these past few weeks. When I get writer’s block, what actually happens is that my noggin swims with hundreds of snippets and ideas and thoughts that I *want* to write about – but it becomes so jumbled and jangled that I end up paralyzed and unable to put pen to paper, so to speak.

Another superiffic side effect of said head swimming is that I get seriously bummed. Like, deep down dogs-barking depressed. Which only adds to the paralysis – “Well, I can’t write *now* because I’m all moody and miserable and maudlin…!” – you catch my drift.

What Would My Twitter Friends Do?

So, yesterday I did what any self-respecting mid-winter depressive would do: I reached out to Twitter, and asked my friends their opinions. I wanted to know if they wrote when they were bummed, or did they worry their mood would cloud their content? The responses were immediate and inspiring. So much so, that I wanted to share.

The talented Byron Fernandez (sings *and* plays piano!?) reached out initially with this:

As artists, writing often seems 2B cathartic. For me, if I can’t get to a piano, I have to write. Hobbies def ease the pain!

Spot on! While I consider myself more of a hack than an artist, writing has worked me through some of the deepest, darkest moments of my life. It is definitely cathartic, and when I can’t exorcise whatever demons are bouncing around upstairs, I get really crunchy. Said crunchy’ness then begets more blockage. It’s a vicious circle. Is it too late to learn how to play piano…?

Write With Emotion

Adding to what Byron mentioned, my super-smart friend Tyler Orchard sent this:

If you can use that emotion to benefit your writing the final result is incredible.

Tyler is a thoughtful, articulate writer. And he too was bang on. Emotion drives most of my writing, but I feel safer expressing things like frustration or face-palm’age rather than writing from sadness or insecurity. Being strong, ‘one against the world’ and a do-it-myself’er got me where I am today, for better or worse – revealing personal weakness makes me want to crawl into a hole. I still felt hobbled.

Let Emotion Inform, Not Define

Then my bourbon loving brother Jason Konopinski had this to add:

The morose & pensive might inform my writing but never defines it. ;)

At which point I laughed and laughed! Because I like to tease Jason, and he’s got a wonderful sense of snark. And he ended up calling me a jerk. Which I can be at times. A loving jerk though. But he made me stop and think – why was I so concerned about it “defining” my writing..? At heart, I knew it wouldn’t, because I’m not much of a public woe-is-me whiner (see above). But the fear was there and Jason nailed it. More gnashing of teeth as I debated how to approach my blog. And my block.

Just Write, Woman!

Finally, I received this from Liz Scherer, someone I highly respect and whose friendship I value immensely:

Just start putting words down on paper. Only you can hit publish but you may be surprised by how good it is!

And that’s exactly what I needed to do. Just start writing. Whatever comes out. Break the block, and stop letting it control me. But what if it’s terrible? What if I’m a moan’y miserable mess who ends up saying nothing of value…?  Did I mention that Liz is also a mind reader….? :) Such simple words but with so much impact – just write it woman! And if you want to publish, publish, if not who cares!

Social Love

Yesterday I harnessed the power of social media. I wasn’t afraid to ask for help and be a little bit vulnerable (a feeling, as mentioned, that I absolutely *abhor*), and this morning I finally did it. I just put words on paper. And it felt right to write about the experience, how these tweets quite literally gave me a narrative! And to give public props to these people – my friends – who each took a minute out of their busy morning to give me a much needed (but gentle!) kick in the arse. My sincerest thanks.

Take a lesson from me – our social media worlds/communities tend to be viewed primarily through business goggles. We share digital PR, marketing and communications statistics and articles. We talk about updates and the latest innovations. But don’t forget how personal it can be also – and don’t be afraid to reach out.

Would love to know what you think? How has SM helped you personally recently? Don’t be afraid to leave a comment! :)  

36 thoughts on “Social Love: Take THAT Writer’s Block!

  1. Now this is a post worth reading. You managed to humanize social media to a whole new level. Not to mention, I am glad I was a part of that. You are spot on. Social media is viewed almost extensively from a corporate/business networking stance. We tend to forget that this is a tool that connects so many people on a personal level. It’s a great network to leverage in times when you are stumped or need help. This article will make people re-shape how they view this space.

    Awesome job, Lindsay! And there is writer’s block no more!

  2. Thank YOU Tyler!! Much as it pains me to admit it (tough gal! LOL) I really needed those connections yesterday – and it helped immensely. I’ve met so many incredible, supportive people via social media, people I deep down consider friends, even though I’ve never met most of the them face to face. It’s a strange, amazing new world. I’m so glad you’re part of it! :)

  3. I find I get writer’s block when other parts of my life are in a jumble. As they are currently – LOL! Probably the norm for most people. My posts are always way to long, by “industry standards” – whatever that means. Just keep on keepin’ on! :) Thanks again for the G+ share!

  4. Lindsay -

    It’s okay to be a royal Jerk every now and then. I mean, look at Steve Martin, he managed to pull it off okay ;) Have to admit I’ve been a bit of a ScroogeyGrinch too lately (face-palmage) …
    But anywho, I appreciate the kind words (not that I needed the ego boost ;), and it’s been great connecting with you and our SpinSucks, foodie, Manhattan/bourbon-loving savants in the last week. Cough, Orchard / Konopinski.
    Been woefully busy with a new venture, and still struggling how to reconcile whether I purely blog for the agency at this point, or continue to try to muster commitment on my personal blog, too.
    Definitely a challenge at the moment. I have been in touch with a few friends re: guest posts on my blog — ideas at the moment involve a pretty riiighteous ladyfriend/ graphic artist out in Queensland! ;)
    Let me know if any of you might be interested as well. I’m happy to help the community out in any way I can.
    This world is sweet, huh?! Best part for me will be when we begin to meet F2F one day…

    To the Right Words, at the Right Time, in the Right Place, and the Right People…
    Cheers,
    Byron

  5. Writing is hard. Sometimes every.word.hurts. And others, they just flow out of you like you’ve taken the finger out of the dam. Hell, I cheat everyday because I write for others mostly, not for myself. Be proud that you reached out when you were hurting (heck, girl, I am proud of you) and when it really hurts, it is probably going to be really good! xo

  6. “Sometimes every.word.hurts.” Oh. Yeah. This time of the year is always hard for me – toss in personal/financial uncertainty and *wheeeeee….awayyy we go*! LOL Crazytown some days, not gonna lie.
    It’s odd how much I value people I’ve yet to even meet, but I’ve always been of the “when you connect, you connect” frame of mind. So, sincerely, thanks again. I really needed that yesterday, and you were a thousand times right and just what I needed to hear. *hugs* :)

  7. This was definitely a post I could relate to. If it wasn’t for SM I’d not be where I am, I’d even go as far as to say that it has saved my life and sanity.

    Many of my closest friends I’ve met through SM and they in turn helped me learn to cope with my dark past. I can definitely identify with the worry of thinking that certain emotions ‘taint’ whatever I get out of my head and onto paper but it is also true that we can harness those emotions as great tools.

    I love writing that either makes me think or feel, especially if it is dark and soaked with melancholy.

  8. Hi Frederik, welcome back! I really love what you’ve written in your comment. I too lean towards the “angst’y” side of life, but at my advanced age (LOL) I try and temper it a bit so as not to assault everyone who lands here with my tendencies! And take a tip from me, there will come a day when you will look back on your dark past and be so thankful for it. Trials and tribulations triumphed over generally make for far more interesting and multi layered personalities in people. I wouldn’t trade one of my past dark times – because I’ve learned so much from each and every one of them! And came through to the other side! :) Cheers, and thanks for reading! Lindsay

    • Lindsay and Frederik — Angst and pain are just reminders that we’re Human.
      It’s our frailty, and often anger, that can be harnessed into passion in what we think, say and do. Never underestimate that visceral force — it’s there for a reason.
      And we owe it to ourselves, and others, to honor that so we can move forward
      Tyler Durden, Rainer Maria Rilke, Fight Club — And One Nihilistic Rant http://bit.ly/nkNi8i

  9. What is this writer’s block you speak of? You know what helps me? I’m EXTREMELY deadline-oriented. We publish by 8 a.m. every day. If I didn’t have that deadline, I would do the same thing…wander around the web trying to find stuff to write about. Or half write something and then not finish it. But I know I have to get something published so I write. Liz is right in saying you should just write and then hit publish. And Byron is right in that getting the words out of your head is a need. Just do it.

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  11. You all make me chortle. And Gini, btw, seems to be less a perfectionist as she is obsessed with excellence. Though it can be a challenge keeping passion alive when calendars and scheduling come into play, the emphasis shouldn’t shift to timetables. It’s still the creative process/art of what we do that REALLY matters.

    Dame Dietrich: ‘Member that song growing up, “anything you can do, I can do better?!?”
    You’ve just been Byronic Hero-ed ;D

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  13. I never suffer from Writer’s Block because I don’t believe in it. I see it as a myth, kind of like the Yeti or the Maple Leafs winning the Cup.

    What I see is really bad writing, mediocre writing and prose that makes my heart pound. Some days you just have to fight through it. I use music and exercise for that.

    • So you’re more of a “La la la la I can’t *see* you” kinda guy…? That tactic doesn’t work for me, I’m afraid. Because once writers block sets in for me I become paralyzed. I can’t even get to point of “Oh, just write something and it will pass” – because I *just can’t write*!! Stress brings it on in me. As does depression. Which is funny, cause most artists thrive when the black dogs are barking. Exercise has been helping, I agree. And as for the Maple Leafs……the last year they won the cup was the year I was born! Heh. Cursed ‘em. I’ve carried a lot of guilt around these past 45 years. ;) Oh, and Go Habs!!

      You’re a prolific writer Jack, a skill that I admire greatly. Whatever you’re doing works for you. Keep it up! Cheers, LB

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