Despite the title, today’s blog post has nothing to do with politics. Instead, it deals with my take on one of the dilemmas a writer might endure.
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The wall. What’s a writer to do when they encounter the wall? No, not the defunct Berlin Wall, or Trump’s proposed southern border blockade, or one of the world’s seven wonders, the Great Wall of China, or even Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” Nope, formidable or foolish as those examples might be, nothing is quite as disruptive as the invisible barrier a writer may face when the ideas and words stop flowing––when they hit the wall.
Not all writers experience this malady, but for those that do, it’s disheartening. What can be most frustrating is the knowledge that the ideas and words once tossed about so freely never totally leave, they just go into hiding––sometimes for a day or two, sometimes for weeks, sometimes much longer. And no matter how hard a writer might struggle to lift every stone to liberate and rediscover their creativity, creativity can be stubborn and remain concealed.
I’ve hit my wall before and understand how frustrating and downright depressing that situation can be. My favorite characters stopped talking. Their personas became weak memories. Images and inklings toward their story lines sank into an abyss, occasionally resurfacing long enough to tease me before diving into the depths once more. Hide and Seek was fun as a child but not as a writer.
When any writer hits their wall, the questions that typically come to mind are: “What happened? What got in the way to dam the flow of thoughts, and the words to express them?”
The answer to those inquiries is as unique as the individual asking them. More often than not, unfavorable personal situations tend to influence a writer’s mind and its ability to create. For some, having a designated location to write is paramount, a place where all the ideas lie in wait for the writer to appear, reconnect, and release those ideas on the page. Take a writer out of his/her element, and the words cease flowing. Of course, like most folks, any form of family issues can distract and cloud a writer’s mind.
So what is a writer to do?
The most effective battering ram to knock down the barricade to creativity is to take time to write every day. Whether the results of that daily exercise specifically relate to a given project (perhaps the work in progress that preceded the deadlock), keep writing. Continue to utilize words to build sentences and paragraphs. Keep filling the pages. Do not allow writing skills to become idle and possibly perish. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, and BELIEVE. That is the best mantra to knock down that nasty wall and reconnect with the writer within.
I conclude this piece with an apropos quote from a fellow author.
Your story is waiting for you to work on it, and your readers are waiting for you to bring it to publication. So, whatever made you pause, whenever it did, just don’t let it stop you. ––A. Claire Everward
**Although I’ve focused on writers in this piece, folks that participate in any creative endeavor can hit the wall. The reasons it happens, the frustrations endured, and the cure for the gridlock are much the same. Above all, don’t quit. Keep practicing and believing in your art and the magic will return.