An Experiment with Writer’s Block

Sep 21, 2016

Art Growth Writing Creative Process
notebook, pen, and crumpled pieces of paper

Photo by congerdesign

This is what happens when nothing comes. Not one ounce of inspiration. Not one single idea to expand into a post. I’ve been sitting here staring at the blank screen for 31 full minutes, listening to the clock in my living room tick-tock away, taunting me. This is what it looks like to have nothing to say. Not. A. Single. Thing.

Generally we only see the finished product. It makes sense, that’s often what people pay for. But I have a fascination with process — the in-between starting and finishing, the work-in-progress, the unfinished piece. I want to see how something came to be, what it once was and how it evolved. I’m not so much interested in the final product as I am in learning what it cost the artist to make it, what she brought of herself, and what she lost.

Show me the paint blotches on the wall, the wood shavings on the floor, the piles of paper in the trash with a few lines written on them before being tossed. I want to see the drafts, every version, and learn about the becoming of the piece — its metamorphosis.

The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.

~George Carlin

This post IS the draft version. No editing. No polishing. No fine-tuning. What you see is what I wrote. For once, I want to write this way — raw, uncut, unrefined. Because what we bring to our art, we bring to our life (and vice versa). Let this be a small lesson in vulnerability and honesty. An experiment with writer’s block.

That’s it. No conclusion, no summary, no fancy ending. I won’t tie this one up with a pretty bow. Let this kill the perfectionist in me. Let it be ugly and imperfect. Give it room to go where it wants to go. I want to see what my writing can do, untethered. Just for fun. Just this once.

Write more. Edit less. It’s good for writer’s block.