There is nothing more frustrating than staring at an empty page on word document; the cursor flashing, waiting for you to finally type something. You can’t think of what to write. Your mind is blank. In the writing world, we call it writers block. If you are one, you know what I’m talking about.
For years I’ve considered myself a writer. Though I’m not anywhere near professional, I hope one day I can be. You know how when you were in school your english teacher would say that there was going to be an essay due soon and all the kids would be annoyed and upset about it? Yeah, I definitely wasn’t one of those kids haha. In my mind I was like “yes!”. If you were to look in my room, you’d find dozens of notebooks. Some journals that are filled with scribbles of short stories; others that are full of pages of writings and journal prompts from the internet. I was always writing, either for school or my own benefit. There’s something about the art of being able to express what cannot be said into the form of written words. In my free time, I was even writing my own book.
But here I am, sitting at my desk, staring at my laptop screen, knowing that I need to write something, but can’t. The words aren’t coming to me. The inspiration isn’t there. For some reason I can’t create. This has been happening for a few weeks now.
I asked myself, why?
If I consider myself a ‘writer’, why are the words not flowing out my brain like they’re supposed to? Why am I staring at my ‘canvas’, not knowing what to do or how to do it? It’s not like I’m being asked to give someone an open heart transplant in an O.R. I’m trying to write. It’s my talent, its my passion. I should know how to own this.
The worst thing you can do is compare yourself to others, especially when you’re stuck. One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone’s chapter 22.” I would read blog posts from successful bloggers that were older and more experienced than I was, recognizing the fact that they posted 3 or more blog posts a week and not only was their content intriguing, but it was really well written. In a sense, I was inspired by reading them; my aim is that my writings can be able to achieve that kind of success. But I was mentally beating myself up about it; judging myself and asking why I wasn’t able to write an ‘incredible’ ‘out of the park’ blog post like that in the span of 20 minutes.
But there was something I had to realize. Excellence doesn’t come right away. I’m not going write an outstanding column the first time I sit down with my pen and notebook. Though it happens, it’s pretty rare. Great things take practice, dedication, and time.
I want to encourage you today; if you’re struggling with your projects. Whether you’re an artist, photographer, videographer, musician, writer.. insert your passion here. I encourage you to keep going with your work. Even if you don’t get it right the first, second, even the fifteenth time – keep going. Even if you’ve been trying for weeks, months, years. It’s a cheesy statement, “Don’t ever give up!”. We hear it all the time but I feel like it’s so overused that we’re numb to the meaning of it, because it’s so much easier said than done. It’s hard not to want to give up when there’s so many nights when you feel like you’re never going to overcome that certain barrier. Yet many times when we feel like giving up, we aren’t able to realize that our breakthrough is right around the corner.
So, again I say to you, keep going.
Keep painting. Keep creating. Keep conducting. Keep shooting (photos, that is haha).
Everything is a process. So embrace your struggles. Once you overcome it, you’ll look back at this time of frustration and remind yourself that you can do this.