There are days when trying to do any sort of creative work feels like squeezing water out of a rock. It happens to everyone.
But we have to learn to work through the haze and the “writer’s block” (or your profession’s equivalent). If you write for a living, this block is no excuse for not producing work.
Perhaps you produce less than desirable quality. But there it is, a first draft, something to work with and polish up later on. Version One is better than Version None.
On days when writing 200 words feels like an uphill climb, I am more grateful for the days when the words just flow. And I appreciate these days as well, because it means an extra workout for that creative muscle in my brain.
Like physical muscles, we all have it. It needs to be exercised. It needs to be stimulated. When necessary, it needs to be rested. But it also needs to be pushed beyond what it thinks are its limits.
There’s a trick I use.
I tell myself that I don’t have to write. I don’t have to churn anything out if I don’t want to but I’m not allowed to work on anything else. And I have to sit my ass down until I’m done with a first draft. No matter how long it takes.
What happens is that I may take longer than I usually do. I may procrastinate. I may end up finishing a bottle of wine. I may feel like shit.
But the anxiety of all the things I have to do, the deadlines I have to meet, crashes down on me and spurs my fingers to start typing.
And when I finally leave my seat, I have Version One.