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!
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!