My good friend recently wrote an amazing blog post about the Writing Blahs – when you don’t want to talk to your imaginary friends. This differs from Writer’s Block – the times when your imaginary friends don’t want to talk to you.
Blahs and Blocks look different for different people. For example, Block tends to feature me, sitting at my computer, completely stuck and unable to navigate a scene (usually my characters are defying me because I unintentionally shoved them into a corner). Blah, on the other hand, manifests itself as a generally pessimistic outlook on writing, which spills over into my overall outlook on life. It’s one of those “All is meaningless” sensations that extends through every corner of my day. The difference between my Block and my Blah is that the Block lasts as long as it takes for me to pinpoint my mistake in the story and correct it. The Blah lasts for exactly one day (sleep cycle to sleep cycle) and cures itself.
But in both cases, when I step back and look more clearly…there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Your Blocks and Blahs probably look quite different from mine. This week, I want to encourage you that, no matter how they look, they will pass. It may take sleeping, it may take wrestling with your plot or outline until it makes sense again…but there is an end to the darkness, somewhere on the horizon. Even if you must fight for progress, know that you are not bound to remain in the doldrums or forever stuck on the other side of a brick wall of Block. You can pull yourself forward, you can navigate your way from the maze of pessimism, frustration, plot-holes and heartache. You will find momentum and joy in your writing again.
One step at a time. One day at a time. Find your resolution. Find the strength to step away and occupy your mind with something other than writing, for a day, or two, or as many as you need. And then come back, and press in, and press on.
You are not defined by your Blocks and Blahs. They are not the end of you and your story. And one way or another, they, too, shall pass.