Does this time of year always seem the same? The feeling that can’t get everything done? The holidays can become very stressful for most of us. Especially if you are in a hurry to get your blog published before the week is over. It’s so easy for us to fall into this, is it not? “I have no idea what to write about! What do I do? I can’t seem to shake it, I’m stuck.” Sound familiar? If so, chances are you’re not writing. So, just in time for the holiday I’d like to share a story on writer’s block that helped me so many years ago.
One day in college I was completely stuck on a song I was composing, being a music business and music major I felt obligated to finish this song. I didn’t know what or even where to go with it. I always seemed to have great ideas but couldn’t put it on paper. I was just like you, completely and utterly lost for words. In my mind I believed very strongly that I was suffering writers block. I asked myself, “how do I get out of this writers block?!” Like you, it was driving me crazy! One day, I met someone who would change my entire perspective of writers block and how it’s generated. This gentleman I met was known in the music industry as a songwriter and I knew I had to pick his brain.
“Dan, can I ask you a question?” He said, of course. At this point Dan and I had a few conversations and had lunch together so I figure I could go a little deeper and pick his brain. I said, “Dan, how do you over-come writers block?” Without hesitation he said, “It doesn’t exist.” “Wait….what?” I said. He assured me that he knew what I was going through, he said, “Josh, it’s all in your head, you can write.” Dan continued on, “ Let me tell what I do every morning, I get up, put on a pot of coffee, get my girls ready for school, I sit at my piano, bring a cup of coffee to the piano and I play and write, I don’t care if it’s an entire song, a paragraph or a sentence. The most important thing is that I write every day.” He continued on, “I wrote thousands of songs, how many made it to the radio this year?” I said, “I don’t know, a few?” Dan a fairly authentic response, “right!” He went on, “in order to write you have to write, just start and keep going. Trust me I’ve written hundreds of stupid songs that I don’t even share with anyone. You have to keep writing. Not every song is going to be a hit song.” As he continued talking I remember thinking I probably should listen to the guy that wrote, “closing time,” works with Adele and has a Harvard arts degree. This might know a thing or two about writing.
As our conversation prolonged, the insight that Dan had was fantastic, it opened my eyes that writer’s block is false, it’s all in your head. As hard as i can be, do not accept writers block. Just write and write more. Create a routine and make it your norm. I’m sure we talked more in depth but this was so simple I was shocked.
So here is what I want you to do. Every day I want you to write something, I don’t care what it’s about, I don’t care how long it is; If it’s a sentence, a paragraph or hieroglyphs. What you need to do is this…write, write and write! Create a routine, make it daily and practice it so much where you get your mindset out of writers block. It’s hard to do at first, but time and a daily routine is your first defense on writers block.