I recently had to write a personal statement for a job that I'm applying to. It's a copywriter position at the company I already work for, and I had to write a paragraph or two explaining why I want the job and why I'd be the perfect fit.
I had the hardest time getting started.
Let's just call it a serious case of writer's block.
But, as I sat on my little golden ottoman in front of my little black desk, just staring at my blank computer screen and waiting for inspiration to strike, it got me thinking about writing. About the nature of writing. If I get this job (and I really hope I do - keep your fingers crossed!), that's what I'll spend the majority of my days doing. Which means I'll be sitting at my desk at work much like I sat at my desk at home this afternoon. Knees pulled up to my chest, arms wrapped around them, head cocked to the side, staring off into space. All of these thoughts flying prettily around my head like little butterflies. I observe and examine each one before I reach out and gently close my hand around the one I can use best, pinning its wings to my paper with the words that capture it perfectly.
The act of writing isn't when you put your pen to the paper - or fingers to the keyboard - it's what happens before that. For me, writing is what happens when I'm staring off into space. The trick to being a good writer, I believe, is being able to be alone with your own thoughts. All of the messy and crazy ideas zipping around your brain. Being able to sit and be quiet with them, taking each thought for what it is, and having the ability to determine how you can use it, if you can use it at all, in your writing. The words are, for me, secondary. For me it's always been about the thought, the message, I'm trying to convey.
The problem is that lately my thoughts have been very quiet.
I haven't felt inspired by anything or anyone lately, and it seems like writing (and blogging) has become more of a chore than a creative outlet. I wonder why that is. Because normally this little corner of the virtual world brings me a lot of joy. I know it's just a phase, but I wish it would hurry up and pass on by. Or maybe I just need to keep writing and push through it. Maybe both.
What do you think, dear readers? How do you deal with bouts of writer's block like this?