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Examining Writer’s Block and the Pressure to Constantly Create

I’ve sat down to write this post about 3 or 4 times. Nothing came to me. Writer’s block is an awful feeling. I strive to provide value in each of my blog posts. Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve covered so many topics and there’s not more to express for fear of redundancy. Of course, I know this is a myth, but this week I can’t shake being stuck and uninspired.


Constant Creation

So, I decided to write a post about what I’m going through this week. I want to talk about writer’s block, and creativity block in general. I remember when I was in college studying photography and I had multiple assignments each week. It was hard for me to deliver something unique that I was passionate about for each of these projects. In college I learned to push out piece after piece like a machine. Sometimes for work, or for a client, you just have to deliver. There are deadlines and we all have to make a living. What I learned in college was good preparation. It helped me to perform under pressure. However, I feel it stifles creativity and is usually not when I create my best work. People say they create their best work under pressure but I need time to refine.

Visits From The Muse

I stand by the belief that one should be permitted to create when they feel inspired, when they are really moved by something in life, and should not be expected to do so constantly (however that’s not the world we live in). Constant creation just for the sake of publishing content has little value. Blogging by practice requires scheduled creation. Social media requires that even more so.

In my previous experience inspiration had never been constant. There was always an ebb and flow. My creative ideas normally came to me in the Iowan evenings when it was quiet. In the summer I was lulled to sleep by the crickets, and in the winter the snow blanketed the earth making the silence piercing and so very still. From that nothingness came some of my greatest inspiration.

My best ideas still come to me at odd times. I’m here to create but I want it be of value to myself, and to those who read my posts. However you consume my content I don’t want it to be created just because I feel pressured to do so. I want it to come from some place real. So I’ve been asking myself the tough questions like, “How do you frequently access that (real) place?” “What’s the intent behind what you’re creating?” and “Does this still hold value to you?”

Experience Life

Lauryn Hill said something like – you must experience life to create. I probably quoted her before because this has always stuck with me. I wish I could find the quote verbatim but I don’t remember where I heard it. If anyone knows please let me know otherwise I’ll be searching for the rest of my life.

If you’re feeling uninspired or unfulfilled from what you’re creating I think it’s best to take a step back and just experience life for a bit without the incessant pressure that today’s world puts on artists. I’m giving myself, and I’m giving you, permission to do so. I will be going on a hike tomorrow and will be coming up with a new process for creating my imagery and written posts so that I feel proud of what I am putting out into the world. For me, “just okay” isn’t good enough in any aspect of life, especially art.

… I think the writer’s block has dissipated. 😛

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