(Cape San Blas, FL, July 2014 — pretty photos calm me)
I can’t remember the last time I had writer’s block. I do know that I need to feel at peace before I can continue writing, and then I can often write through what could be a block. It’s a tactic I learned from some fantastic mentors — writing through it, even if it’s utter nonsense.
These days, however, I’m rarely, if ever, at “peace,” as I suffer from heavy bouts of depression and, diagnosed as of late, severe anxiety. I will always have an idea as to what to write — I’ve got a notebook or two filled with ideas. Most of them just never go anywhere because I’m always thinking of something else. Right now, I’m doing everything in my power to write this even while I feel vile and am thinking about What Could Possibly Be Wrong With Me. The Internet has created a hypochondriacal monster out of me, thus, exacerbating my anxiety to crippling, heart-pounding, nauseated levels. Information on sites like WebMD and emedicinehealth.com has turned me into a crazed insomniac to add to everything else. I have to calm myself considerably before I can even contemplate what I’m going to write.
Once I’m collected and focused, peaceful, I write whatever idea has been playing heavily on my mind, and I keep at it, even when I get stuck. I just allow myself to write gobbledygook until something clicks. While I was working on my novel, I set a 5-pages-a-day goal (around 1300-1500 words), even if those five pages were nonsensical and didn’t do much to advance the plot or anything. I would then spend that evening going back over those 5 pages to see what worked and what went wrong. Then I fixed them.
Honestly, as long as a writer is focused on writing and nothing else, it isn’t hard to “move” out of the block if he or she sticks with it. Keep writing, even if it’s rubbish.