I've sat down to write this a thousand times. At least in my head I have. For the past few months I have been struggling with, for want of a better expression, writer's block. I have been drowning in doubt and question why I am even bothering whenever I open a word document. This has happened for both creative writing and blog posts.
Will it be original? Is it useful? Is it interesting? Will people want to read this?
And, of course, me being me the answer to these questions is always no.
When faced with an empty white screen, my mind was quick to act as a mirror to it and went completely blank. It was when I was tucked up in bed, just before falling asleep, the words would come - only to become tangled up in to my sheets and lost in the morning.
Instead of opening up a word document and facing that blank space, I would just open up Netflix and wile away the hours there - the stories were told for me - I would watch absolute fluff, not wanting to watch anything where I would have to think too much.
During my self-inflicted procrastination and meandering online I came across a YouTuber explaining how when they get stressed they shut down. Not just on the activity or work that was making them stressed but everything, including what they enjoy to do.
As soon as I heard them explain this, I realised they had put what I had been feeling in to words. Without me realising its full force, I had been stuck in a relentless tide of worries of work and life plans - I hadn't realised how far I had drifted in them.
I thought back over the past few months. I hadn't been reading for pleasure, I hadn't been emotionally involved or enjoying my Netflix binge watching. I had felt numb from the possibility of storytelling and completely lacking inspiration - a part of myself had shut down.
Rest assured with the feeling I wasn't alone in this kind of thinking, I thought I would try to write. I told myself it was ok, just write something, anything would do. But nothing came - the fear of it not being good or worth anything was still there.
What brought back the inspiration? What made me write this?
And strangely enough, what I thought was one of my problems actually helped me: watching Netflix. Desperate for a change and wanting to see if I could actually enjoy a show - I watched Sense8 and within the first episode I had completely fallen in love with the story idea, the characters and the way it was presented. It reminded me what good story telling could be.
I had the thought: "I wish I could come up with an idea like that." I know this doesn't sound like much but I hadn't thought of myself as coming up with worthwhile ideas, let alone any ideas, in such a long time.
Then I took a break from Netflix, knowing whatever I watched next wouldn't capture my imagination as much as Sense8.This break paired with the feeling of wanting to write, finally sparked something off. I opened up the notes on my phone and tentatively wrote a few sentences. They weren't much, but they were something.
Here I would like to apologise if you started reading this, hoping I would give you lots of tips on how to get over a creative block. I wish I could write that handy bullet point list but if you haven't gathered - I don't really have a clue.
Instead I want to ask you - how do you get over blocks of creativity? Not just with writing but any form of art. Please share your tips for getting over creative blocks in the comment below, I would love to read them and I'm sure I'll use them the next time I hit a slump