So I make myself sit, every morning, fingers to keyboard, just as a painter sits fingers to paintbrush, a musician sits fingers to guitar strings, a chef sits fingers to measuring spoons, a dancer stands, toes to wood floor, and I let the feelings of The Block race through me. I turn to face them head on, patting them on the head as they pass before me.
“You aren’t going to write as well as the other bloggers writing on this subject,” The Block hisses at me, squinting eyes in a nasty glare, like it’s staring into the sun. I let it speak, but I don’t clamp up at its words. They are just words. They are not truths. “Who are you to speak on creativity?” It continues, still hissing, still glaring. “You do so little these days. When was the last time you painted or played the piano or sewed or drew? You just write things. How boring. How un-colorful. Writers are not creatives. Writers certainly aren’t artists.”
The Block likes to attack at the jugular, but you kind of have to give it space to speak,otherwise you resort to what I spoke of earlier, doing stupid menial tasks to avoid the art that lies before you. So you have to go in prepared, to hear the worst, to hear all the old tapes you thought you’d destroyed. You pat The Block on the head like a little child whom you love desperately, even though they are red-faced, fists pounding the air in an all-out tantrum. You don’t belittle it, you merely sit with it. And then you go a step beyond that. You use it. You put it to work for you. You are creative afterall. You can do this.
I have this incredibly talented musician friend and we were discussing one time what she could do when she was stuck. She goes to write songs and all she can think about is how she doesn’t know what to write about. What should her focus be on? Who is her audience? Where is her heart, her passion and how can that come out in her music? What should her lyrics be saying? How would she be the most effective in her songs? The Block tries to strangle her with an onslaught of questions so that she feels weary before she’s even begun to create. I encouraged her to start with that.
I said to her, “This is me gently reminding you to songwrite the questions when you don’t have the answers.” Sing about the confusion. Write lyrics about the desperate need to have songs translate into healing for someone, but how breathtakingly hard that can be sometimes. Use The Block’s questions for your material. Who wouldn’t relate to a song about wanting to have impact, but not knowing where to begin? That’s a human struggle we all can attest to.