Writer’s Block isn’t a disease or a virus a writer can catch and it’s not permanent. It refers to a lag in creativity. I think this is a natural phenomenon. Every living thing on the planet succumbs to life cycles, to biological rhythms. Creative people are more sensitive to the ebb and flow of these cycles because it impacts their work. Is it the moon? Is it the weather? Blood sugar? I don’t know. But I know it’s as real for people as it is for the tides. We all have life cycles; we learn to manage them. They are all temporary.
Creativity lag can happen in other ways, too. It’s often the result of frustration. Too much on the plate, not enough time to do it. Organization and prioritization crumble. Deadlines and demands usurp energy. Not enough time is a huge frustration. Pressure causes loss of focus. That’s what Writer’s Block is for me. A temporary loss of focus because there’s too much on my plate. Creativity is in the ebb.
What do I do about it? I step away. What’s causing frustration, what’s heaped on my plate that I’m slogging through? Those things need to become priorities. Clean off the plate. Get those annoying things behind you. Then take a break. Eat. Drink water. Sleep well. The last thing I do before coming back to work with a clear mind is clear my physical work space. Re-file papers. Take old stuff off the bulletin board. Empty waste bins and the recycling box. Take the time to put things away. Sharpen pencils. Dust. My work space becomes an appealing place once again. It feels like the first day of school when I couldn’t wait to write something on my new pad of paper with a shiny #2 pencil with an eraser. Can’t wait to get back to work. Creativity is in the flow.
I think when writers take care of the sources of their frustration it’s as good as an antibiotic to fight writer’s block. That’s how it is with me. How is it for others? Do artists and musicians also suffer periodic creativity lag? What do you call it? What do you do about it?