And sometimes the best thing is to say nothing at all.
Because if someone isn’t willing to listen but is willing to argue and disagree you’re probably wasting your time and energy.
But other times the reason to say nothing is because you can’t quite find the words. You’re talking in phrases, stumbling over words and not quite making sense.
Maybe you need a moment of rest, a moment to not speak (or write) or make a grand statement about what you’ve discovered about life.
I’m in the mood to say nothing today but since I committed to saying something daily this is all I have to offer.
Some days are easier than others.
I have days when the words pour out with such ease that it can be hard to keep up. But I also have days when I’ll open my laptop to write and after 30 minutes I’ve gone back and forth on the same few sentences and I have a total of 23 words on the page.
But by posting daily I can’t rely on the days when it’s easy to write because those moments don’t come 7 days a week.
Instead I’ve taught myself to work through the days when the words don’t come as easy and still end up with something I’m happy to share.
I find that once I’m willing to try and write the ‘block’ eventually dissolves and out pour the words.
Growing up I don’t think I ever read the acknowledgements of many books.
I suppose, I probably just thought that’s nothing to do with me, it’s for the people being acknowledged.
But recently I started thinking about who I’d acknowledge if I ever wrote a book and it was quite fun.
I sat and asked myself who in my life has helped, supported or contributed to where I’m at. Those are the people I’d give a shout out to in my book.
I think most of us have people in our lives that have taught us things, sometimes even by accident but they’ve helped shape us.
For me those are people worth acknowledging.
… I’m still going to do it.
I find it easier to write down my words by hand, perhaps because I write quicker than I can type. I can never manage to keep up with myself when I’m writing from my laptop.
The keyboard and screen of a phone, computer or laptop is no comparison to a Biro in hand scrawling away on a sheet of paper in a notebook.
At times the words are barely legible but that signifies the urgency to pour out all the words within.
That feeling is a beautiful thing, it’s one of the things I love most about writing, seeing my handwriting and the words I’ve written.
But I’m also aware of the very present environmental crisis on planet earth, so perhaps I should be more willing to go paperless.
Focus on doing things that are helpful and try not to get distracted by the seemingly significant things that are also known as stuff.
If 764 people read this post, I might come to the conclusion that I should write ‘Reasons to…’ posts more or that this length or writing style is the winning combo.
But in doing that I wouldn’t be giving myself the freedom to explore and develop as a writer. At the crux of it when you have a passion for something it will never just be about the numbers. It’ll always be more about the feeling, something you can’t measure.
When you’re in-flow and the words pour out with an almost trance like ease it might not be the most popular piece of work you’ve created but it took something for you to create it.
Even if you find a formulas that works you still have to innovate to some degree and after a while you might get bored because you’re no longer just being creative.
The use of a formula adds rigidity and constraints.
Checking the stats could also be done for reassurance that there’s at least one persons on planet earth reading what you’ve written and there’s nothing wrong with that because nobody puts stuff out there for it to go unread.
You might find a way to convince yourself that checking the stats will make you as better writer when the truth is writing will make you a better writer. The stats are just a distraction.
I’m a personal journal/diary writer. It’s my trade of 10+ years and from doing that writing in first person using ‘I’ is something that comes naturally to me.
But when writing in a space for other people to read I’ve started to realise that unless I’m writing for you to get to know me then I should start using you or we.
And sometimes that means writing and then re-writing. But it’s not just about the use of I. It’s about having this space not feel like my journal (minus names and places).
But sometimes the use of I is necessary because I like to throw in bits of my life here and there so you know where I’m coming from rather than just throwing out things that are ‘helpful’.
Having a daily writing practice means that writers block isn’t an excuse I can use.
There are days when writing feels a little more rigid and I suppose I feel ‘blocked’ but I don’t feed it because whether I feel in-flow or totally out of flow I still have to write and share something.
I think one of the easiest ways to loosen up and allow the words to flow is to write and it’s ironic because we’d usually do the opposite.
Perhaps the first 100 or even 500 words might be what you think of as rubbish but once you get past that you get to the good stuff. All of sudden you’re scoffing at that supposed ‘writers block’ knowing that you should have listened to Seth when he said:
Writer’s block isn’t hard to cure.
Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.
Seths Blog: Talkers Block