A while back I was ill with a really bad case of flu (and for the record, it was real flu, not man flu). It tied me to my bed for a few days. It was the kind of ill where your mind drifts and you can hardly speak or think straight.
I barely had the strength to stand up and get dressed, yet alone to reflect on anything and write it down.
But with regards to my writing, it was more like a great excuse. Because in truth, I’d been battling writers block for a while. What this period of illness did was give me an excuse not to even fight anymore.
I’d done my standard tactic of sitting down and simply waiting for something to come out. Waiting to see what was inside. It usually works. But I seemed to have lost the motivation and energy to even try that.
So what was wrong?
When I got well again it was my birthday, so I was busy with family and partying with friends. I still had no time to write anything. My computer had been frustrating me too, being too slow and winding me up (it’s still doing it right now, as I write).
Writing had become a duty, an obligation, not a calling or passion. And I began to realise something was missing from my life. An almost forgotten love. Buried deep inside me was this yearning, longing, and deep love for words.
Deep inside I knew this. And for irrantional reasons, I had been afraid to engage with it
Fighting For My Words
I knew however, my words were waiting for me. A lost love desperate for me to take up arms and fight for her. So reluctantly I opened my laptop, and somehow began to press my fingers on the keyboard. One letter at a time.
That was all I had. Single letters. Nothing coherent.
But from single letters, words began to form. Then the words turned into paragraphs. And the paragraphs became a blog post. One which I actually shared here a couple of weeks back, on the why of suffering.
It was a topic which had been marinading in me for weeks. But which fear, illness and disillusionment had prevented me from writing.
And as I poured out my heart, something shifted. It wasn’t an unfamiliar process. I’d felt this before. The sudden realisation that I was in the midst of something sacred. Something divine.
In that moment, I came alive again.
The words I’d poured out were like oxygen to the truest part of my soul. They revived me. They brought me to life again. It was as if I’d been a walking dead soul, which had now discovered it’s heartbeat again.
I felt myself again. I had come back from the dead.
And as the blood pumped and the life flowed, so did the words. They poured out from me like water from a newly discovered well.
I had found myself in my words.
With the tap of each letter, I unlocked the password to my true self. (you can tweet that)
Each word lighting the pathway to my heart.
Has the writers block ended completely? No. I’m still struggling – more on that next week. But little moments like this remind me of why I fell in love with writing in the first place. They remind me that deep down, this is a love that won’t die. I’ll always come back to it. Because I love it. And it’s in the words I discover my deepest, truest self.
We all find ourselves in our art. Whether we’re pros or amateurs, whether millions see our work or only ourselves, the truth is when we show up and engage in our creative work, when we create from our authentic self, we find ourselves right there.
Whatever you create, there you are.
And in the process, you may find healing, and life like you never knew.
Question for Reflection:
How do you deal with creative block?
Share you story in the comments below!
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(Picture Sources: therecordingrevolution.com / Caleb Roenigk via Creative Commons)
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