Is writer's block that bad?
Updated: Oct 29
Hey guys, its Omar from The Curiosity Project. I guess you could regard this post as the ‘grand opening’ of the blog, but here’s the problem, what on earth does that really mean?
Well to me it meant a deep, substantially worthwhile post, perhaps something with a philosophical touch? A journey of self-discovery? Maybe something subverting a commonly held belief?
Clearly there was one thing I couldn’t resist, absolutely milking the opportunity for rhetorical questions.
But honestly, now that we are on the subject, is it just me or is there something about a great rhetorical question?
Used correctly it seems to turn the most mediocre argument in to a thought plucked right out of the mind of Aristotle. I mean just look at this for an example, I've just been babbling on for a few lines talking about sweet f*** all and yet it seems as though I am about to unveil some kind of unfound knowledge. For the record, I am not. But the point I am making here is I am expecting that you are expecting the inaugural post must be something that truly adds value and that I will be struck by a creative lightning bolt the moment I start writing! As I am sure anyone reading who have participated in a creative endeavour, that’s really not how it works. My first mistake.
I brewed a cup of coffee, of course the beans were from our friends over at Django Coffee (picture below), a long-time collaborator of the Podcast and the technique used was a pour over. Do feel free to have a listen to our v60 episode (shameless plug and I’ve even linked it for you *wink*). I sat down and upon the first sip of that marvellous brew, my brain kicked in to gear, my eyes opened up and it was as if the personification of Mortiz Moszkowski’s Etincelles was happening in my head!
Picture taken with iPhone 11 Pro Max and edited on Snap Seed
In all honesty, this heightened state of creativity is something I often find myself in, particularly when researching information for episodes. However, I was a man on a mission and of course, the blog needed a home. So I fervently started to design the website, work out the layout, experiment with fonts and after a few hours I had something I was kind of happy with.
Pleased with my work I turned my - admittedly exhausted - mind to blog post ideas. I executed the same strategy I use for the podcasts, I make a list (a pretty exhaustive list might I add), and I read through it repeatedly hoping one would speak to me.
Not schizophrenically talk to me but… Oh bloody hell, I'm sure you get what I mean.
Anyway, I read them, 1 - 5.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
and again, and again…
I had hit a creative roadblock, or writer’s block as its more commonly known.
Here’s the thing, this isn’t the first time but for some reason, due to the expectations I had put on this first post, it hit me hard. I felt disappointment in myself, feeling like the archetype walking down a busy street, his hands stuffed in to his pockets while kicking a can.
After taking a break and customarily feeling sorry for myself I asked myself “why aren’t you thinking?”. That really struck a chord with me, let me explain.
Firstly, I knew I had sapped my creativity tank designing the website so why was I so surprised that I struggled to find inspiration for the post? Sometimes we have to step back from our own circumstances and act as our own Tom Hagen. I then realised that the blog post doesn't have to be some sort of Vaclav Smil work, it just needs to be authentic. I forgot the purpose of setting up this blog; it is to provide a deeper insight in to my curiosities and really allow you guys to see how my brain works. In fact, it is precisely this idea that made the podcast so successful, rather than worry what you guys would want, we concentrated on portraying what interested us in the most alluring, honest, and engaging way possible. I stopped mulling over not being inspired and decided to probe other routes.
Just like that I was back on track. It was extraordinarily refreshing. I found myself curious about why I was finding it so difficult to write and that in itself is something to write about, something to explore. Boom! Like magic I have words on paper, I have a blog post, rather than trying to dictate creativity I opened myself to it.
As creators we find ourselves constantly trying to catch lightning in a bottle not only is it frustrating, my God it’s f****** exhausting.
Maybe writer’s block isn’t as bad as we thought? Rather than my initial view of writer’s block where I viewed it as Donald Trump’s ‘wall’ that could never be scaled, I have now changed my approach to encountering a locked door amongst thousands of possible doors, like that scene in Monsters, Inc.
In case you’re new here (and it wasn’t obvious enough), I love learning and this new project has absolutely been a learning experience for me. I will be trying to post every week and the subjects will vary from random ones like this to extensions off of podcast episodes.
I hope you are all as excited as I am for all the content there is to come.