As per my weekly routine, I joined with other writers and Twitter friends for #storycrafter yesterday. It was all about fear and how it affects writing.
Naturally, writer's block reared it's ugly head, and I was reminded of an old blog post I wrote (all the way back in 2014) and so I trawled the archives, read it and think it's still relevant. It's based on my learnings from the doctors, who were trying to diagnose me at the time, and it's my take on the inner child and writers block.
I hope you'll enjoy it and, if writer's block is being ugly to you, perhaps you'll be able to knock it on the head.
After a couple of months editing I’m back to the creative art of writing.
But surely editing is creative writing?
Well yes, but not from a blank page. The sand has already been thrown into the sandpit and the basic or rough outline of a castle built by the creative process. The editing is where the 'Inner Adult' and 'Inner Parent' take over. With a more mature critical eye and thinking they review what's been written, polishing it until it begins to gleam, makes sense and is ready to toddle off for others to read.
Sometimes that adult or parent even throws things (and I mean words) away!
Not so the inner child who, faced with the beauty of a blank page, can’t wait to simply scribble. This is the creative you. The wild imagination of childhood that we learn to control and discipline but which, at times, needs to be allowed to run free. It doesn’t care about the rules of grammar, spelling mistakes or even if what you’re writing makes sense; it just wants to fill the page with words and tell a story, build characters and make the world exciting.
And this got me to thinking about writer’s block...
Perhaps it is down to the inner parent and inner adult getting too involved in that initial splurge of creativity. Seeking perfection too early they keep reining the child in.
No, stop. Don’t do that, do this!
That reads awful. *screws up page*
Who would read this?
Until the inner child finally thinks, well I’m not doing it anymore – being creative. You two keep complaining so you do it. And off the inner child goes to play on its own in a little corner of the subconscious somewhere. Probably with piglets or wizards ... maybe even a frog or two.
Now the adults and parents it leaves behind don’t know what to do – all consumed by perfection and discipline they’ve forgotten that the world of imagination, magic and creativity are, by their very definition, imperfect.
And so we end up with writer’s block...
For me, now is the time to let the kid loose again. Sure, the parental and adult voices will be there – too long have they held sway over the editing – but I will have to learn to ignore them again. So go on kiddo...
Run off and play!
Disclaimer: All this was written by the child inside. I have no idea if it makes any sense, but then again nor must I care at the current time. So do please excuse me, it, him and her; the child inside that is.