I tried, I really did, but the more effort I gave it, the worse it got. Words felt thick, heavy, yet hollow. Thoughts refused to form, and when they relented, it was gutless. They had no heart, feeling, or anything worth sharing.
My fingers moved slowly across the keyboard as if they were fighting the tide in a fast-moving river. Say something. Say anything. Type the words. Have some thoughts and share them. For the love of all things creative, write something.
But I couldn’t.
I don’t usually give into creative slumps. My one rule of writing is to fight through my writer’s block and get it done. A little brute force can break the resistance down and bend it to my will. I don’t want to be at the mercy of creativity. I don’t wait for inspiration or motivation. If I did? I would never write another word.
Inspiration doesn’t come when it’s called, and it isn’t a flight of fancy. It requires effort and perseverance. I have to go looking for it like a lost treasure. It’s a quest, an adventure, that takes me down strange paths and dark rabbit holes. Some days it takes a lot of hard work to mine the mountain for one precious gem, and that’s okay.
There’s nothing wrong with hard work, grit, and determination. It often leads to satisfaction and pride. I thought I was down and out but look at me now. I found it buried under a pile of boulders and loose sediment. My muscles are sore, my knuckles are bleeding, and I look like a mole rat after a mudslide, but I did it. I found my inspiration and buffed it until it shone brightly.
Good job, me. Well done indeed. If I was more flexible, I’d give myself a pat on the back.
Ah, but every rule has an exception and sometimes stubborn perseverance isn’t enough. Some days it doesn’t matter how hard I work or how deep I dig. That shining jewel is out of reach. I want to give more, but…Damn it.
Sure, I keep at it until my muscle grow weak and my knuckles are too raw to function. I can do this. I know I can. I’ve done it before, been in this very spot, and found a way through. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I do it?
Stupid. Stupid….That’s not helpful.
It felt like a thick fog had set in, and it hasn’t fully lifted. I’m not all here. My mind is sluggish and resistant. I want to do this. I want to be here, and I need to write. There’s a way to get through the haze, I know there is, but I can’t find it. I turn around and around. Circle this way and double back the other. Come on, where are you? What am I doing? Why is this so hard?
Hello? Can anybody hear me? Echo. Echo. Echo.
Anyone with a creative inclination has walked through the fog. Writers, painters, sculptors, and filmmakers. This list goes on, but what unites us is the need to create and the desperation we feel when we become lost in the haze. Closed in and trapped. Frantically searching for a direction but sinking into the soggy soil beneath our feet. The more we struggle, the deeper we sink.
Down. Down. Down we go until we’re waist deep and too tired to dig ourselves out. Do we give up? Do we give in? Do we sit in the quicksand and wallow? I want to say no with an emphatic expletive. My head is screaming at me. My heart is pleading.
What are they saying? Stop. Go. Fight. Surrender. They contradict themselves and each other. Who do I listen to? Which voice matters most? And the fog rolls in thicker, and I feel more lost than before.
For me, the question is obvious but hard to answer. How long do I keep struggling? My knee-jerk reaction is to push on until I get it done. Good. Bad. It doesn’t matter as long as I get it done.
Except it matters to me.
It’s not like I’m caught up in some delusion of grandeur. I know these words won’t go very far. I’ll never be a viral sensation or have a massive platform. I don’t know if anyone will read a single word I write. That’s okay, I don’t write for those reasons.
I write because I have things to say, but my speaking voice is too quiet. In the real world, I’m shy and introverted. I get overwhelmed by sights, sounds, and loud voices. I shrink back and let those voices take centre stage because I know I can’t compete. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be heard, seen, or valued.
So, I open my computer and put words on a page. I post them online and leave my thoughts out here for anyone to read. Maybe we’ll connect and have a conversation. Perhaps someone will take away a new perspective and see things differently. Or, more likely, you’ll read these words to kill some time.
However it plays out, my voice has been heard, and I’ve been seen. Isn’t that what we all want? I don’t want this to sound egocentric. It’s simply human. We need connection, and we want to be valued. We want our existence to matter and not go unnoticed.
That’s why the first humans carved pictures onto cave walls, and ancient peoples left hieroglyphs on their tombs. It’s why we’re compelled to build grand structures, and Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel. Spray painters tag buildings. Lovers carve their names into tree trunks. We were here. We existed. Please, don’t forget us.
We find our voices in different ways and hope someone hears us. We strive for connection and seek out validation. Of course, we don’t always look in the right places. Our quest goes astray, but we’re doing our best to get a basic need met.
Then the fog rolls in, and we find ourselves stuck in the mud. We’re fighting to get out, but we can’t see our hands waving in front of our faces. The panic sets in, and desperation isn’t far behind. Our voices are swallowed up by the haze, and we become isolated, invisible.
Fight. Fight. Fight.
I’m so tired.
I don’t have anything to say. My voice is tired, my mind is weak, and I have nothing left to say. But I don’t want to go away. I don’t want to disappear. I don’t want to be invisible. So fight or rest. Those are the choices.
The fog was too thick last week, and my voice broke down. I didn’t have a single thing worth sharing. Everything I tried was just noise and the world, especially the one online, is noisy enough. Why add to that when it serves no purpose? Why should I create when my creative spirit is not present?
The desire was there. It always is, and I can’t get rid of it. Anyone who creates for fun or profession knows that almost desperate need. Not doing it? It’s like telling someone not to breathe or look down. It’s impossible. Well, that’s how it feels, right?
I reached a point where giving up was the best choice.
Actually, no, I didn’t give up. I took care of another need. I needed silence and a chance to think. Everything has been so loud lately, and I’m overwhelmed. My mind can’t process any more stimulation. It’s reached maxed capacity and entered hibernation mode.
It stopped. It wasn’t going any further. The fog was the emergency brake, so there was no choice or fight. I sat there and waited for it to clear.
It was frustrating and infuriating, but it gave me time to think. What do I want to do next? Is this it? Is it time for a change? Maybe it is time for a creative shift or a new challenge.
Sitting in the silence, my voice temporarily on mute, is a scary place to be, but those thoughts were more frightening. I don’t like change. The challenge that came to mind scars the crap out of me. I don’t know how to do it. It will require actions that I’m not sure I’m ready to do.
I’m comfortable where I am. I have a routine. I…I need a change or a challenge. That’s the one thought that was louder than the others. I’m too comfortable, and it’s making me sedate. I need to wake up and move. Creatively, I need to do something new.
This isn’t an announcement or anything so dramatic. I’m processing my week of silence and working through an uncomfortable experience. If something is going to change? I’ll let you know before that happens.
I often find that writer’s block happens when I’m not nurturing my creative instincts. Creativity takes care and compassion. It’s a voice that needs to be heard. It’s a form of expression that needs to be acknowledged. That acknowledgement doesn’t come from external sources but rather from within.
I’ve been ignoring them in favour of comfort and routine. I’ve let my creativity slip into autopilot, and it’s losing its ability to fly solo. It needs to be free if it’s going to get its strength back. I’m just scared to let it run wild.
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