Writers: It’s Not Writer’s Block. Sometimes, it’s just Life.


we can’t talk about being an author
without talking about life fiction mentor calm from the very beginning was
never meant to be just about writing because so much of writing advice books
classes whatever is is focused on the craft and that’s cool and there are some
really good ones which I will link to ones that have really helped me there’s
nothing wrong with that but what happens in all of that is I think we
accidentally as authors as instructors and as writers we divorce writing and
the craft from number one the business of being an author and number two from
life we divorce it from life and that’s not fair to us as creators as writers
because why life happens life is part of what all of us are
dealing with and soda to try and take this one aspect of our life to take
creative writing and plunk it down and its own little box and try to wrap it up
and keep it safe from the rest of the world is asinine it’s not going to work
in the writer’s block video I talk all about you know how writer’s block is a
myth and it’s our job to keep working and bla bla bla bla bla but the other
part of that is distinguishing between writer’s block and I can’t do this right
now those are very very different things one of my good author friends who I will
not name had several wildly successful books that I would have you know killed
to have his level of success and then it just stopped done man and and it was
heartbreaking and he’s okay now and he’s you know
perfectly functional human being and whatever but he doesn’t write anymore
and he hasn’t written for years and he’s just kind of done now on the one hand
that sucks and I’m sorry on the other hand if he’s happier and healthier and
really doesn’t miss it okay that’s alright but he was done
that’s not writer’s block that’s I can’t do this right now maybe ever again maybe
just for a little while maybe a few years maybe until the kids get out
of the house or whatever it happens and it’s okay another one of my friends
right now and I keep referring to other people it’s happened to me as well but
one of my friends you know has been trying to write this this one particular
story and it’s in a genre that editors are maybe not looking for at the moment
we’ll just put it that way and so she’s struggling with the book and she really
doesn’t write very much right now and partly that seems to be she’s kind of
okay with it and then other times it’s like I don’t know what I’m gonna do like
she’s so frustrated with the process and with the industry and everything else
that you know it’s this book is really hard to get out that’s not writer’s
block that’s life life happens accidents happen and illnesses happen and job
changes happen and relationships get up ended and new relationships form and
like oh you know it’s life folks it is it happens and you got a roll with it as
best you can but if you are feeling like the process or the industry or whatever
is having an impact on your life then it’s okay to step back because I get
frustrated with my writing; trust me, I’ll be writing something then go back the
next day and read it, whatever, “Dude you suck! You are a piece of shit! What’s the matter with you, you’re terrible!” Happens to everybody. That’s
okay it’s normal and then I keep writing or I’ll get it to a place and I’ll hit
that quote-unquote writer’s block like wait how do I need to get her here but
she’s here how do i dammit I don’t know you know that’s writer’s block guess
what you work it out you keep writing you just keep going that’s fine there
have been other days however to be perfectly frank to be perfectly blunt
with you and to be perfectly transparent with you there have been other days
where the industry of publishing has made me question not just whether or not
I’m a good writer but whether or not I’m a useful human being on the planet to
the point where I have tied my value and sense of Worth to the job that’s
writer’s block number one number two it’s dangerous and it’s stupid
don’t do it as someone who has survived that don’t do it because it’s bad if you
find yourself in that place if you find yourself so angry so sad
so frustrated so depressed that you quote-unquote can’t right then don’t
step back get some help if you need it up from what are whatever source and
take a break because if you let those symptoms get out of control something
even worse is going to happen to you and then you won’t write again ever if you
are at a place where you’re experiencing actual distress then it’s time to take a
break and I want you and need you to take a break because I need you to come
back in a week or a month or a year or whenever and finish up that story
because we need your story but we need you around and healthy to do it okay
I did theater for 22 years okay and out of those 22 years 16 of them were spent
running my own companies and it was stressful we weren’t getting paid so
we’re putting our own money into it we were hoping to God after each show we
would have made enough to pay ourselves back and maybe fund the next show that
was our metric of success did we sell enough tickets to fund the next show
without going into our own pockets if you’re not a theatre kid it takes a lot
of time it takes a lot of time when you’re not at rehearsal to do all the
prep and then all the rehearsal takes time and and and it’s stressful and you
have to it’s all this stuff you’re worrying about the money and worry about
the quality of the show the marketing selling tickets juggling all of these
various relationships sometimes actors don’t get along or crew doesn’t get
along whatever so it’s just a mess and I loved it the stress we experienced
during those 16 years of running a company were that’s good stress you know
what I’m saying it we enjoyed it it was fun it was it was exciting and it was
thrilling and it was hard and I loved every second of it you know that feeling
right that that feeling of working hard on something
then it drives you crazy but you keep going because because you fundamentally
love it so much and you take that stress on willingly okay
writing is the same way i I mean I get stressed out about writing and get all
you know tense about writing all the time all the time whether it’s about the
craft whether it’s about a certain particular story whether it’s about my
place in the industry whether it’s about my skill level whether it’s about you
know whatever most of the time though it’s good stress and I enjoy it and I
channel it and I keep writing because I love writing and I love telling stories
but every so often and my wife will vouch for this every so often it’s
crossed that line into being unhealthy sometimes even unsafe that’s not okay
it will never be okay nothing is worth being unhealthy or unsafe over okay
that’s again that’s not writer’s block that’s something else so I just want you
to assess where you are if you are frustrated and angry and sad about the
direction your book is taking or that you don’t know what the nuts are do in
the next scene or you’re running you don’t have an idea for another book or
whatever that’s cool and if it’s kind of if there’s a little bit of fun attached
to it you know that feeling I’m talking about like I don’t know what to do with
this story and there’s part of you that’s like even as I say it I feel good
you know I’m having fun talking about it I’m enjoying like often times I will
meet with my author friends and we’ll just bitch for like three hours right
we’re just like so bitchy and we’re laughing the whole time because it sucks
on the one hand and on the other it’s like but it’s still fun there’s nothing
else I’d rather be doing than this right now if you feel that way don’t worry
about it it’s cool just keep writing muscle through watch my videos on how to
get unstuck and whatever and keep going you’ll be fine if on the other hand
you’re curled up you know on the floor weeping and console ibly and you can’t
eat anymore or you can’t sleep anymore that’s not writer’s block you guys that
is something else and that needs to be taken seriously and that needs to be
addressed seriously I will tell you that if you are at that point or you ever get
to that point you’ve been at that point then you need to get actual
help from a counselor from a psychiatrist from a whoever I don’t know
but you need to talk to somebody please and please do it immediately if you’re
there right now these aren’t worth it
these aren’t worth it okay I need like I said I need you to be healthy and I need
you to be safe so that you can keep writing your stories and keep sharing
those stories with us because we need them
you’ve got good stuff to give us and we need that so that’s all for this
particular episode again please subscribe if you haven’t already share
the video around if you think there are other people who could benefit from it
if you have questions or comments just leave them here and I will be sure to
respond to everybody who has a question or a comment okay thank you for watching
I hope you’re getting some good information out of this and whatever
happens keep writing you

2 thoughts on “Writers: It’s Not Writer’s Block. Sometimes, it’s just Life.

  1. In the past month I've begun my first novel. It's obvious that it's a long haul and life will get in the way, but persistence will pay off. The other video that said 250 words a day as a goal was encouraging. I may average that, with some days above and others at zero.

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