We’ve been doing a lot on our trip to China, but we’ve also had a lot of downtime- on the bus, in the evening- where I’ve been able to relax and do whatever I want. Mostly, that’s been re-playing Fire Emblem Awakening (my favorite video game ever!) But I was reflecting recently on why I haven’t been writing. I spend a lot of time reflecting on why I don’t write. Sadly, probably more time than I actually spend writing.
It makes me feel stuck. I think this happens to people a lot. I used to be stuck when it came to exercise (until I found boxing!) My brother is stuck in his job- he hates it, but he’s still working there. My best friend was stuck in her last relationship- she was looking for a reason to leave, but didn’t. My boyfriend is stuck in eating unhealthy- he keeps talking about trying to eat healthier and has made some progress, but hasn’t made any major changes. In all of these cases, it’s just easier to maintain the status quo. It’s easier to keep doing what we’ve been doing rather than put in the effort to make these changes.
What is beyond frustrating to me is that I know I will be happier if I become unstuck. I know it’s what I want to do. I know what I have to do to get there. But I don’t do it.
I don’t have an answer for this, but I want to know how to become unstuck. I want to become unstuck in my writing and I want to teach people how to become unstuck in their lives.
The biggest obstacle for me is that becoming unstuck isn’t something that you do once. Sometimes, I have small patches of being unstuck with writing. I’ll write several stories I’m proud of, I’ll participate in NaNoWriMo, I’ll write every day for a month. And then I’ll stop. Every time I start writing takes a lot of effort. Every time I edit takes even more.
For me, it’s the voices of doubt. It’s thinking that my writing is bad or isn’t good enough. It’s thinking that I’ll never make it as a writer. It’s submitting my piece somewhere and having it be rejected- being disheartened even though I know this is completely normal- even for the best and most successful writers. It’s choosing to do something other than write.
Writer’s block is an excuse. Just one of many that I and others use to allow ourselves to feel absolved from working toward our goals. As I write this post, I’m already thinking of my new excuses for not writing tonight or tomorrow or on the airplane. I’m already thinking of how I can feel better for not pursuing one of the goals I’ve had for the longest in my life.
I think I’m looking for an easy answer. A solution where all I have to do is press a magic button and all of a sudden writing is as easy as spending hours playing Fire Emblem. Where as long as I know what I need to do, it’s not hard to do it. And I’m pretty sure there isn’t one. The answer is that to achieve what you want most in the world, you need to work for it. You need to make the choice to do it. Again and again and again if that’s what it takes.
Relatedly, I would love to study this from a psychological perspective. What happens when people do become unstuck? When I started boxing, how was that different from me failing to write? When I have more answers, I’ll share. In the meantime, keep putting in the effort toward your goals- you’re worth it!