Whenever I find myself approaching any degree of writer’s block, I would say that fundamentally it’s because I haven’t had enough freedom to write about whatever I wanted. I always felt confined to particularities. After a night’s rest and reassessment with coffee, I can usually readjust my focus. By the time I write “The Story,” ideally, I would like to have all of these sorts of lessons learned learned, so I can write the novel/series.
Spoilers?: Minor [thinking about thinking]
Let’s start with an analogy for my writing sessions over yesterday and today.
Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling well, so I only wrote one essay. I was going to write more but I have accidentally artificially built some restrictions into my writing format. Four days a week, I let myself write about any topic I want, but I’ve accidentally relied too much on unique imagery – requiring me to get new pictures – and for my LeafGreen playthrough I have certain restrictions to prevent me from dumping all of my time into it.
What resulted was me creating a writer’s block for myself, preventing me from writing.
The main reason why I’ve been talking about what I plan about writing for “The Story” from myriad perspectives for multiple years now is that everything I’ve written so far is practice. All these essays, short stories, and even the novel I wrote are iterative practices on the fundamentals. Essays teach me the basic forms of literature. Short stories help me practice fiction in a low-risk environment. Novels require more time and are more of a gamble because they’re a risk to get anyone to even care, let alone read. All this daily practice is me toiling away at a dream, though, and that dream requires that I free up many other aspects of my life that might be good enough but don’t satiate me.
I’ve had a month off, so why didn’t I write a novel?
I haven’t had much of the freedom of mind to do so. Between my physical health, which is in a state where even this morning I woke up in moderate pain, and my overall mental focus, which is primarily on recuperating from that pain and secondarily on completing old projects. When I dedicated the month to writing Novel 01, I had completed or cleared my plate of all responsibilities. I have letters to my left to address, not neglect, and I have distractions all around me that overwhelm.
Ideally, I would have writing time free from these distractions.
My advice for any writer looking to seriously start writing is to complete as many potential distractions as possible. You can’t write a short story about “X” if you’re wondering about “Y” or “Z.” I’ve tried doing this, but then my “Short Story X” will turn into “Short Story X+Y+Z-X,” which might be fine, but it’s such a waste to want to write about “X” only to find yourself writing about something else. The focus and clarity required to write anything halfway coherent require the same, if not more, focus and clarity in life.
The most insidious distractions in life appear to help you focus and clear your mind.
In fact, all they do is cloud your mind with their thoughts. I have been easily seduced by these distractions over the years, and even today, but that’s where it’s important to look at your life and decide what makes you feel the freest. Freedom, for me, means the freedom from obligations I don’t care about. Clearing out the apartment-mansion is an obligation that weighs heavily on my mind, like a constant headache or lower-back problem, and once resolved my mind can focus clearer. But to get through all that requires toiling away at hours of effort, when it’s easier to distract ourselves.
Sometimes, those mental distractions are the way to fix our issues.
Throughout this past month, I’ve used videogames as a distraction while my lower-back issues sorted themselves out. I’m mostly on the mend now, but it’s still an overwhelming sensation most of the time. I can’t concentrate on John and Trishna’s journey through life in that sort of mindset. Even when I allow myself the option to write about “whatever,” I don’t feel like writing about “whatever” when I don’t want to do anything. This sort of pain, long-term, is depressing. When you wake up and want to go back to bed, even something as passion-evoking as writing becomes disinteresting.
That’s where a writer’s block might not be a matter of lacking inspiration.
I was pushing myself too much yesterday. I should have taken a nap earlier in the day, and when I did, I felt better. But I was trying to rush back into good health too soon and it wiped me out. If only I had learned that sooner. But here’s the thing. In our lives, we learn and re-learn these things constantly. At least now, my writing is frankly insignificant on a massive scale. I have no followers, no readers, and nothing really to show for my efforts other than this website and the novel. I haven’t earned any money doing this and I’ve prioritized writing in my life for nearly four years.
This is the time to develop the self-confidence once I start writing “The Story.”
I have a job I can go back to, or other jobs I can attempt, whereas when I write “The Story,” that’s it. It’s all or nothing. I would prefer writing it after having learned and re-learned all these thoughts of clearing my mind of pre-existing biases, burdens, and other aspects of life that might distract me from what I really want to do in life.
I want the freedom to write “The Story.”
I don’t yet have that freedom and am constricted by elements both inside and outside of my control. The more I can practice with elements inside my control, the more I can guide elements outside of my control.
I’ll start by freeing myself from writer’s block.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium, along with my personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: My writing calendar landed on July 4th, so I wrote something related to freedom for this essay.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2020 May 18 [10:52am to 11:24am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 May 18 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|