I sat down to write this post, only to spend 30 minutes beginning it and deleting it, feeling the need to clean up what few words managed to spill out onto the page. I had writer’s block.
Writer’s block for me is troublesome for two reasons. First of all, I tend to be very hard on myself, berating my brain for not being more cooperative. I feel like every time I sit down I should be able to rattle off something, anything. After all my head can’t be completely blank.
In fact, I know my head isn’t blank. It is a cacophony of anxious voices, convincing me I should be afraid of everything and anything going wrong. And beneath those anxious voices are the dulcet tones of depression wondering if any of it matters. Writing helps me sort those voices out, putting them to paper where the light of day can shine on them, revealing their lies. This brings my to my second reason for hating writer’s block, which is that it leaves those voices trapped in my head.
I have a shirt that says, “writer’s block: when your imaginary friend stops talking to you.” In my mind that is true. Because none of us are defined by our mental illness, but for me writing is a way for me to communicate with my mental illness, as if it were in fact an imaginary friend (you know that friend that keeps screwing everything up, but that you keep around for some odd reason). And communicating with it through writing lessens the power it has over me. So finally, I started writing. I wrote this. Because whether I am writing my way through depression or through writer’s block I’ve never regretted putting pen to paper, even when it turned out really bad.
Writing without wrongs for me means writing honestly, whatever comes out, whether it is good or bad. It is accepting myself as I am in that moment, which is such a powerful way to short circuit mental illness. Hopefully any of you who are also struggling with mental illnesses find a way to accept yourself exactly as you are because I promise you, you are enough. If you haven’t found something that works, let me suggest writing. It might not work for you, because what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone, but personally it does wonders for me.
P.S – My auto-correct kept trying to change “writer’s block” to “writer’s depression” which is totally a thing too, and will likely be making an appearance on this blog before too long.