The Day I Met Writer’s Block

There I was, sitting in front of my laptop all pumped up to write an award winning work of art. The page in front of me was nothing less than the blank wall Michelangelo (I have no idea what his surname is… he’s just cool like Madonna and Oprah) faced before he painted the Sistine Chapel or the blank page J.R.R. Tolkien saw before he wrote The Lord of the Rings[one, two, three and everything before and in-between]. I was off to a good start: “Title” (Okay this will come at the end) “By: Rutendo Nyamuda”. Phew, at least that was out of the way.

Deep breath in and…. But wait. How could I begin without coffee? I mean everyone knows coffee is a writer’s fuel. So I stood up, got some coffee and sat back down.

Okay. Deep breath in, hands on the keyboard and… But wait. How could I start writing without giving myself an unforgettable pep talk that I’ve often seen in the movies? So I got up, went to the bathroom, washed my face, played the soundtrack from Remember the Titans by Trevor Rabin and looked in the mirror. My speech went something like this: “ You’ve come a long way from the hills of Zimbabwe to shores of Port Elizabeth. Across the mountains of Cape Town to a few places over the seas. All this has led you to this concrete-jungle/city of gold that is Johannesburg. All that you’ve fought for and all that you’ve ever wanted comes down to this moment, right here. Now are you just going to stand there or are you going to write?”

After that moment, I went back to the table screaming “Yeahhhh, I gots this!!!!” I sat down, deep breath in, hands on the keyboard and… But wait. How could I start typing when I hadn’t fed the cat? (I don’t have a cat.)

And that’s when it hit me. I recognized the symptoms: lack of concentration, hunger, frustration and the desire to give myself a pep talk to a soundtrack from a film about football. Ahhh Writers Block, my old friend, I almost didn’t see you there hiding beneath that invisible coat of distraction. But I’ve dealt with you before and I’ll do it again and here’s how.

Exercise

I love this one. I’ve noticed how exercise is the cure for almost anything such as: “I’m always feeling so tired” – Solution: Go for a run.

Sleep

Often when people don’t have a solution to your problem they just say, “Sleep it off”. (If that doesn’t work at least I would have rested).

Write Write and Write

Just start typing. Even if what you’re writing has absolutely no relation to what you are working on just go for it. It will either help you get started on your project or leave you with a bunch of words on paper that have nothing to do with anything. (This will come in handy when you need to blog one day and suffer from writers block).

So that’s it. Let me leave you with some wise words by Paul Rudnick: “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials. It’s a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write.”

No truer words have ever been spoken. You want proof? Well, you just read it.

writers-block

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