Writer’s Life Block and Learning to Accept Slowness

Writer’s Life Block and Learning to Accept Slowness

Lately I’ve been suffering from writer’s block, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say I have life block. Since Dad went home after his 4-week visit, I’ve been feeling just how empty the house is with just me and the cats, and how much in a rut I’ve been in my creative endeavors. In the past, I would have written down every issue and talked about them ALL at once, creating a giant nut of an article that would be dense and hard to read. So instead, I’ll just focus for now on blog writing.

I’ve had this blog for about ten years now, and I used to write about all the little things that interested me through the day with little care about the “quality” of each blog post. As my comfort and courage grew, I wrote longer articles about deeper issues of both a professional and personal nature. These have been helpful for my own personal development, and from the emails I’ve received I believe a few others out there have also found them helpful in framing their own challenges. However, a few years ago I started to believe that I should be more SERIOUS about the craft of writing, and became rather self-aware of how I was NOT doing it. The net effect has been to reduce my output, and writing has become a chore that I indulge in every Groundhog Day Resolution Review Day on 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, and so on until December 12. I’ve missed writing about the little things that make me happy, and this is a shame.

It hasn’t been all bad, though. I’m learning to get comfortable developing articles over a period of time, rather than forcing a 1000-word post article in a few hours. In other words, I’m starting to get comfortable with my relationship with Time, finally learning to accept slowness in the creative development process. I’m really impatient by nature, though you wouldn’t think so seeing how LONG it takes me to do anything. On a meta level, that self-cutting sentence is an example of how I tend to believe that everything takes way too long to do.

Part of accepting slowness is embracing smaller steps, which I’ve known for a while; the NEW INSIGHT is that SHARING those smaller steps is probably OK too. While not complete, at least something is happening. This is a lesson I learned from watching my Dad during his visit. He would take time to develop a project, be it refining his cello bridge setup or potting orchids, over a period of days. He didn’t worry about how long it was taking or whether there was a right way to do it. He also took the time to have lunch and dinner with me every day over a pot of tea, and he would share his daily triumphs and setbacks with me. They provided both the scale and context for his larger projects, and also for mine. Now that he has returned home to Taiwan, I’m left only with my large projects. It is difficult for me to assess their true scale and difficulty without those daily shared cups of tea.

1 Comment

  1. Mariana Nofal 9 years ago

    Hi. I really like your posts. My english is bad (I’ve learned it mostly by watching tv and reading blogs), so I can’t explain myself very good, sorry about that. I was having a serious writing block, until this morning. My daughter is 7. She was scrawling something in a small notebook during breakfast. I’ve asked what she was writing about and she said: “Breakfast, big birds, monday mornings and now I will write about you asking me questions. I just write, mom. It’s easier than you think”. I’ll back to my blog tonight. And I’m glad you are back too. (Sorry againg for my awkward english).