Self-Esteem Lessons via Writer’s Block

Arnett Gill

I have been struggling with a HORRIBLE case of writer’s block. 

Shocking, I know, as I this is my first blog post in 2012. {She says with total sarcasm}  Now I know, and expect, writer’s block to rear it’s ugly head form time to time… it’s part of the gig.  What makes this particular bout of blockage so bizarre is that I’ve been so excited to get back to my poor neglected blog. I’ve literally been stockpiling inspiration for months! I have computer files, bookmarks, notebooks packed full of ideas, topics, and stories I want to write about.  Some are awesome blogs I’ve discovered, some are good books I’ve read, some are songs that stirred my soul, and then of course there is Pinterest; oh dear lord, Pinterest, and the millions of ideas that single website sparks.  And yet, when I sit down to write a post…. nothing.  Literally, nothing comes to mind, or seems to makes sense when I write it, or feels authentic to me.

It feels like I have the research, the topics, the inspiration, and yet, no voice.

At first I thought I just hadn’t found the “right” inspiration, so I spent more and more hours collecting more and more motivation.  Then, I thought I must not have created the “right” plan for sharing my info, so I invested my evenings into mapping out, or create a plan of how to share all the thoughts rattling around in my head.  When that didn’t work, I decided to take a break; in hopes that the stress I was putting on myself was keeping the words from flowing. Finally, I decided to take the stance I’d have if I were one of my clients, and stop judging myself for having writer block, and instead, just get curious about it.

I started asking myself all sorts of curiosity-based questions.  For example…

“Why do I want to blog?” “What do I enjoy about blogging?” “Am I blogging for me, or for other people?” “Why did I start this blog? As I reacquainted myself with my interests, hopes, desires, and goals for my blog it became easier to be curious about the intense writers block I have been experiencing.  Instead of looking for the “right” thing to fix the stagnation I was feeling, or the “right” way to get unstuck, I became simply curious about the feeling of panic that kept me from being able to write.  My questions transformed into, “Hmmmm, so I know I want to blog, and yet when I try to write a post panic sets in.  That’s interesting, why would panic be showing up for something I want to do?” Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, the message I must share 10 plus times a day with my clients: panic is showing up because writing a blog post is something I care about.

This is what it means to care about something!

It’s impossible to care about something and not fear loosing it. Fear, panic, anxiety, worry are all horribly uncomfortable, AND they are all signs that we actually care about something, or someone.  Because these feels are so uncomfortable to experience, it’s easy for us to approach them with dread, judgment and contempt and totally loose sight of why they showed up in the first place.  They do have a message for us but we can’t hear the message when we are only focusing on the pangs they are creating.

Change Your Focus, Change Your Experience

One of my favorite quotes or sentiments is, “energy follows focus.”  Meaning, whatever we focus on we get more of.  When fear, panic, and/or anxiety show their ugly mugs and we pay attention to them, worry about them, try to avoid them, or try to get rid of them, THEY are are our focus, therefore THEY are what we get more of. More dread. More fear. More Panic. More self-judgement. More anxiety. More self-loathing. More and more of these feelings, that I call bullies, and less and less of….us. I realized that my writer’s block has been intensified because my focus has been on making these distressing feelings go away, not on what I want to say.  I lost sight of the relationship I have with my blog, and myself, and gave all my focus to these annoying bullies, when I should have just asked them, “Hey, what’s your deal?!” So, I finally did it.  I finally asked, “What’s your deal?” and wouldn’t you know my first post of 2012 was born out of this simple question.  Moving my focus from the bullies that had plagued me since December to myself, and what I want to say, is all it took to get the gears turning again!

And I gotta say, it marvelous to be back!!!!