As much as I hated, hated, hated it, that week of reading deprivation really helped me. (Again, I feel it only fair to provide a disclaimer. I deprived myself of reading, but I was not entirely abstinent. I will not be getting my 30 Days Without A Vampire Romance chip anytime soon.) In addition to breaking some bad habits, I’ve been writing more, and I’ve also discovered some additional creative blocks.
I used to think of writer’s block as staring at a blank page, unable to imagine what happens next. “There is a man. A man in a blue suit and a red tie. The man… The man… WHAT DOES HE DO?!?” (That man…was Dean Koontz.) Reading The Artist’s Way again, I’ve been able to see it differently. Writer’s block is anything that keeps me from writing. And one of the things that keeps me from writing is my compulsion to categorize everything.
Remember when you could just write stuff? That was fun.
Not a day goes by where I don’t write something. I text. I carry a journal everywhere. I post self-deprecating stuff on Facebook. I make fun of movies on Twitter. And when a new podcast comes out, I write an iTunes summary, a blog post, a Facebook post about the blog post, and if I’m feeling up to it, a couple of tweets. Because that’s how you’re supposed to do things now.
If I have a funny thought that’s too short for a blog post? Well, that goes on Twitter. Unless it’s too objectionable, then it goes on Facebook. And if it’s really objectionable? Clearly, I should just text it to someone instead. And the awesome idea I came up with in the ensuing text conversation? Well, it goes down in my notebook to save for a time when I can flesh it out into a full blog post. But does it really fit the format of my blog? Everything here is divided into review categories, and it’s not really a review… Oh! And I’ll have to find an image to go with it, because otherwise there’s too much white space. I can’t think of a good companion image, though. Maybe I should just hold on to that idea forever until I finally open Word again and write it up as a real article! But what sites would I submit it to? And shouldn’t I join their community and get involved on the forums and check their writer’s guidelines first?
In short, my biggest writer’s block is Greg.
So what to do? Well, I can’t really get rid of Greg. He may just be a bag of meat with delusions of sentience, but I live in him. But I also want to write as freely as I used to without getting bogged down in format, categories, notifications, page views. hashtags, and what goes where. And ideally I’d like to avoid seeing the social part of social media whenever I log in to write something.
So as an experiment, I started fooling around with Tumblr last week. (I almost wrote “Tinder” again, and I certainly thought it. Oops.) It’s already pretty freeing. I’ll probably cross-post review stuff here as I go forward, but that’s me thinking ahead and getting in my own way again.
You’re the worst, Greg!
It’s cool, though. You’re also the best.
The Virus Of The Illusion Of Choice That Lives Parasitically Inside Your Non-Sentient Meat
(Check out the Virus’ Tumblr at at the link below. Catch the virus!)
I’m a thing!