As I start to write this, I realize how many things it’s possible to get unstuck from (or be stuck to/in in the first place, I guess.) My initial intention (I think) was for this to be about my writing, specifically. Lord only knows what shape this is gonna take now.
I’ve felt stuck in a rut, writing-wise, for quite some time. It’s been so long that I can’t remember when it started. Those of you who write are probably acquainted with this feeling, and you’re also probably aware that it’s frustrating as hell to feel this way. Is stuck in a rut even the right term? I guess I go back and forth between feeling completely uninspired and feeling more inspired but like my writing isn’t good enough. Self-doubt leading to paralysis. My latest frustrations come with wondering if all of my writing that goes above Twitter’s 140-character limit is worth a shit. I’m not fishing for compliments-I swear.
That last sentence speaks volumes, I think. One quality I wish I had more than any other-OK, most others-would be the ability to not give a flying fuck what anyone thinks. It’s held me back from doing so many things. I’m afraid-to some extent-of criticism. Every time I write something, there’s a part of me that waits for someone to point out the factual errors. Or the grammatical errors. Or take umbrage with something specific I say and accuse me of being unintelligent/racist/militant/not militant enough/not positive enough/homophobic/misogynist. I was sensitive before the internet. Having a larger audience and participating in a way of communication that’s not the most sensitive to things like context and nuance compounds the sensitivity. So I worry. And I worry. And I analyze. And then I get into paralysis from analysis. Then nothing happens.
So my wheels spin, although my vehicle is trapped in mud. And I go nowhere. I get stuck.
For me, writer’s block isn’t so much a function of “I don’t have anything to say” as it is “I’m really worried about what people think about what I want to say.” I’m hoping that there’s a happy medium that allows me to worry a lot less while still being somewhat sensitive-or at least using plain old common sense. I may already be getting there. Was a time when my IDGAF button would only get pushed when I was at my maddest or most depressed. I think in the past six months or so, I’ve become much more comfortable using it in other situations. This hasn’t led to much of an improvement as far as my own self-criticism (and more important to this essay, hasn’t resulted in a loosening of the brain waves and an easier, more prolific flow of content on this site and in my other writing endeavors,) but as I’ll sum up in a lot of pieces I write under this heading, it’s forward movement. However slow. And any forward movement is good movement.
That said, I hope the floodgates open really soon. I have shit I want to accomplish.