Writer's Block + The Integrity Of Your Art

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I had a post idea all queued up for today. It was something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Something I had, of course, thought might be helpful.

But as I sat down to write, the words kept falling flat.

Type. Read. Delete. Retype. Read. Delete.

I did it over and over. Nothing felt true to the feeling inside I wanted to express. It felt like the right words were all standing on the edge of a cliff in my brain, stubbornly refusing to take the leap. I felt stifled, restrained, choked. I guess that’s why they call it writer’s block.

For a while I considered just forcing it. Just getting the ideas out onto the page, regardless of presentation of feeling. I literally spent an hour writing the entire post, convincing myself I was wasting my time fixating on one single post.

How many people would really even read it? Who would really notice that it felt forced or flat? The justifications abounded.

But I kept reading my words – the b-squad version of the post I had imagined – and I grimaced at how vanilla it felt.

Just as I felt at the height of my frustration, I moseyed for a moment over to my friend AJ’s blog and read his post, “Buttering To The Edges.” It reminded me of the importance and the value of quality. In a matter of seconds, I deleted every word of my post. No saved draft to rework later. Just gone. Because there was nothing in it that I was proud of.

It’s a delicate balance, of course – finding the place between doing the work/getting it done and maintaining a high standard of integrity for your work. Each of us must find that line for ourselves.

But I guess today I just wanted you to know that I value your being here. I value that you’ve taken time from your day and you’ve put it in my hands, even if just for a few moments. I don’t take that gift lightly.

It’s why today I’ve chosen rambling honesty over plastic, vanilla words. It may not be WHAT I intended to write, but it’s certainly closer to HOW I intended to write, and to me, today, that’s more important.

 

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