Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Writer's block / Shut up your inner Cadillac man

I've never suffered from writer's block.
Until this week.

I'm a freelancer and it's wonderful and lonely at the same time. The loneliness is wonderful when work is going well. When it's not, it's like any other loneliness.

And if you make plans to see people, you cut into the time you should be working, perhaps the very moment when the block would melt away.

My current writer's block is caused by the inner critic going: "Oh that's already been written about in a better way, that thought is so unoriginal, your idea is ok but the crafting is dull, no one would read it, or perhaps someone would read it but no one would pay for it".

I try to counteract the inner critic in the three ways I know:

1. To picture the critique as coming from the character in the Cadillac commercial. We don't seem to share many sentiments or values so perhaps I should not be so very troubled with his opinions. He will never like me, I will never like him.

2. Think that all the criticism is directed towards this individual which seems so unfair, she is just a little kid.

3. Read this quote over and over. Thanks, Martha Graham:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.

Ps. to my inner critic on reading this post: Yes, it is bratty to be a privileged person in a creative profession complaining when so many are really struggling to make ends meet. I agree with you on that. But perhaps other people find a little solace from this if they're currently in the same boat. Are you really against comfort and solace? Why? Are you the Cadillac man?