It’s Over

Okay. Looks like I have run my course. Done. Gatham Gatham. Going on to try something else now. I am done with writing and vice versa.

Vielen Dank. Auf Wiedersehen.

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Writer’s block. The Prolonged staring into empty space; continuously switching between walking about in a confined space and sitting on a chair; repeatedly writing sentences and deleting them; repeatedly writing sentences and deleting them; using foreign words to sound hip; vague irritation with the entire human race; talking out loud to imaginary people; turning to the internet for inspiration and ending up spending two hours on a website about Beavers.

Writer’s block is the mad cow disease of writing. The general treatment of writer’s block is to romanticize the torture which only works if you are a rad author. Pretending such a thing does not even exist is naive.

“Do talkers suffer from talking block? No! Do Doctors suffer from operating block? No! What about coal miners? Then shut your mouth and write already.” 

To write like you talk is the hardest skill. Because we talk a lot of shit and the point of writing is to thoughtfully get around that. Doctors don’t just walk into the room – grab a knife – finish an operation – and walk out with an apple in hand.Dismissing writer’s block only makes it a great excuse to put out more bullshit out there.

Writer’s block is not an inability to write as much as an inability to go on for a brief period. Anyone that makes art suffers from the block. The block serves as a great metaphor for everyday life.  The block teaches you to be patient, get comfortable with nothingness, and let go. It’s a fever that leaves the body stronger. The block is a feedback to try new things, get creative or simply slow down and experience more deeply.

Coal-miner, Plumber, Doctor – none of them face a block, but they all get weary, tired, bored and occasionally want to cry into their own hands. They all fear the very empty hollowness an artist faces when she confronts her own work day after day. An artist’s block isn’t an inability to produce art as much an inability to go on, briefly. It’s a symptom of living, not just art.

When you hit a block, it’s not the words, colors, or music you are unable to bring, it’s yourself.  And ignoring that feeling will make you jaded, miserable and kill the thing you love most. It’s important to sit, stare, and hurt. Because the block is a beautiful constraint – an exercise in perspective.

Artist, or coal-miner, days like that are hard but they also affect the work in very profound ways.

At the end a bad day, when a drained coal miner looks into his hands, he doesn’t care if it’s black with soot. He only cares if it is steady, not shaking. To see, in the hands, lines a hope that tomorrow will be better. Every artist feels the block. The block should stall your creation, not the hope to create.

When the block hits you, don’t pretend like nothing happened. Listen to it. You and your work will be better because of it.

Posted in Art

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