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The Big Freeze

June 24, 2010

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An accurate representation of the inside of my brain. 

For the past three weeks or so I have been mulling over an open notebook trying -TRYING- to come up with something to write about. And for a moment there it seemed as though the words weren’t coming because I had nothing to say.

Well clearly that’s not true. I could talk the leg off a table. My malady seems to be restricted to the written word. Talk: I’m full of it.

What we seem to be dealing with here is a rather massive case of writer’s block. Symptoms include: the inability to take a good idea beyond the first blush; jealousy; procrastination and a variety of aversion tactics; and visions of all your dreams being for naught. Conveniently these symptoms started to manifest themselves right about the time I actually started to set foot into ‘make-your-dreams-become-reality-and-not-just-remain-dreams’ land. MYDBRANJRD for short.

I mentioned a few months back that I was seeking gainful employment of the officey type. Then a few months after that I mentioned that I was getting nowhere. Cue: work experience. After a couple of months helping out with the admin side of my current job I had a realization. I had wanted an office job because I was sick of working nights and weekend, so I tried 9-5. And I hated it. HATED IT. 

So if I hated working nights and weekend, but I hated working 9-5, what was left?

I made the decision then that I would do anything I could in order to make a living using my creativity. I would sew, take photos, write copy, research, write articles, set up websites, design, write books, craft, markets, ANYTHING. Sort of a creative odd-jobber. With an overall plan to be an Arts writer.

I’m happiest when I have a day spread out in front of me and several projects to be tackled, when I’m in the library with a stack of books and a topic to research, or when I’m taking an idea and working out how to make it happen. I want to feed myself and pay my rent from the proceeds of what is, to me, the most natural activity in the world.

The problem now is with the writing part of my plan. The most important part. The moment I started to plan articles, to look at submission guidelines and to imagine the acceptance letters that would come flooding in, that was when I lost it.

None of my ideas seem good enough, I think my writing’s not good enough, and there’s a high-pitched squealing burst that runs through my body at the thought of sending off an article. That anxiety has blocked my ideas process. It stops me from even starting to write anything, and it has spilled over here too. Hence no posties. 

The minute I place some importance and value on my work I was no longer able to do it.

Self-sabotage strikes again.

I’m telling you all of this for three reasons

  • I need tips for dealing with creative anxiety and creativity blocks.
  • I need advice and encouragement
  • I needed to break the ice over my big freeze. 

I want my plan to become a reality. I want to support myself*, mostly, by doing things I love, and by doing them on my terms. Of course there were going to be hurdles, but I don’t honestly think I expected them to come from within.

How do you deal with creative blocks, fears and the problems of starting?

* I feel that it must be noted that in my plan I am keeping a part-time job, three days a week, in order to keep my apartment and continue living by myself. I don’t know why you need to know that, but I just feel that it’s important. Cool?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. dollyasylum permalink
    June 26, 2010 8:31 pm

    Gosh, i probably have no advice here, because i am the biggest self saboteur i know :S
    You’re on the right track though- you know what you want, so that is the most important thing.
    You are a really talented and creative writer, so my best advice would be, just write from the heart, as if it is just for YOU. Pretend that nobody else will read it. Or write something with the INTENT that nobody else will read it, so there is no pressure. Maybe that will free your mind up a bit, and perhaps then when you have something you’re happy with, just send it off/submit/take it to whoever etc and just forget about it. (it’s that easy! Pffft) But you know what i mean.
    I probably don’t have anything else very helpful to offer..as i say, i am awesome at talking myself out of being confident and assertive when it comes to my creativity. But hopefully the little smidgin of advice i did give will make some sense? If not, i am sending virtual flames at the ice to help with the melting process 🙂

    • Trixie permalink*
      June 29, 2010 1:59 pm

      You’re totally right, it’s the pressure I put on myself that makes me freeze up. This is the problem with role models. hurrumph.

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