Sunday, May 25, 2008

Finding Remedy to a Classic Writers Block

Two months ago, I was really excited to be involved in a writing project. Nope, it was three months ago actually. It would be the first time that I'll be working with a dear friend, whom I've admire for being such a prolific writer and a communications specialist at that. I've learned a lot from her from all those years of exchanges we've had about developing communications strategies for NGOs engaged in development work.

A month later, sometime in March, I started reading some of the references to prepare my initial write-up. I found myself writing several pages, deleting more than half of it, and rewriting again, in an attempt to capture what I was expected to put in paper after reading all those materials.

I've been going through this writing-deleting-rewriting cycle for almost a month now, just for the initial article. Until I got tired and finally after finishing, I immediately sent it to her because I was afraid I won't be able to finish all articles assigned to me.

I experienced the same thing in writing the next two articles. When I finally told her what I've been through, with an astonished look on my face, without batting an eye, she told me, "Oh, a classic writers block you had there!"

"A classic writers block? What is that?" I asked her, as I really couldn't understand what was happening to me. It's the first time I've experienced such difficulty in writing.

I know and I've heard a lot about other people experiencing this writers block. But I had no idea how it feels nor how it happens. All I can remember was sitting in front of the monitor for hours, typing and retyping everything I write and hoping that words would automatically come out instead since nothing worthwhile seems to flow out of my fingers while they rest on top of this keyboard.

Adding up to the pressure I was feeling inside is the knowledge that we do have a deadline to beat. Deadlines are sacred commitments for me, so much so that I'll do everything I can just to meet my promised deadline for a client. This is something my friend knows very well.

I tell you, it was a triple whammy (not just a double whammy) that hit me there when I couldn't put in paper all those thoughts running inside my head.

Having read articles that talk about "An experience of having writers block" did not prepare me for what I've been through for the past two months. Getting mad for not being able to beat the deadline, and feeling so guilty about it (my getting mad, in the first place) afterwards.

But now after finding a label to describe this experience ... I came to fully embrace the fact that ... yes, it was something I didn't want to happen at all ... and I don't need to punish myself any further because of it ... and it's something I want to overcome.

My dream of becoming a creative writer almost faded away during those agonizing moments when no single paragraph came out that didn't get deleted immediately after ... almost, because I'm trying to hold on to it right now.

I really hope that other people who may have the chance to read this blog entry I am writing here would learn from my experience, too. I would like to share some articles that helped bring back my zest in writing. Hope that you would find them helpful, too. Do check on these two nice articles:

1. Writers Block: A Definition by example

2. Writers Block: Tools you can use

Whew! That was truly amazing! I was able to write this entry in just a matter of 15 minutes. Feels great to have my confidence in writing, back with me again.