POTD: Writer’s Brain

“Inertia is the death of creativity.”Austin Kleon

There is no such thing as writer’s block. That was some of the most valuable advice I’ve ever received and one key takeaway from a four year engineering degree. Writer’s block does not exist. Inertia exists. Sometimes it’s there and sometimes it’s not. The trick is to keep writing when there is no guiding inertia. Make a habit of writing everyday. Practice discipline and someday everyone says it will get easier. 

That’s a kind of discipline that I’ve always struggled with. There is no defined finish line. There are no bounds to what I might or might not accomplish and the only person who stands to be hurt from my failure is me. Everyday that I fail to write I only disappoint myself. I’m tired of being disappointed. I have done so much in such a short time during my first year in Indiana. I have accomplished things that I never thought I could do. 

I am capable of this. I am capable of writing everyday, of finishing a blog post, of finishing a story. I can find the words. Even the wrong ones are content on paper. I need to jump in and do it wrong so that I can go back and make it right. I need to carry a notebook wherever I go and jot down any ideas that might pop into my head for fear of losing them in the sea of useless information which clutters my consciousness. I’m never going to expand my vocabulary unless I read and write every day. I need to keep a list of all the new words that I learn and I need to practice using them. I’m tired of murdering the punch line of a good story because I can’t seem to settle on exactly the right word. All the ones that come to my mind are grey and bland. They are generalizations, not a picture that someone else can see, taste, hear, smell. I want to be that good. I can be that good. 

This was a frustrated pep talk that I wrote to myself a while ago when I was having trouble making the wheels of creativity turn. How do you force the pen to move when inertia fails you?


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