Writing Lessons from the Super Bowl LI Champs

posted in: 2017, The Writing Process | 0

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Writers block sucks. I’d liken it to that feeling you get when your crush is heading your way and you want to talk to them, but. Just. Can’t. Even if they smile and wave and would likely hang out for a while.

The blank screen, the empty piece of paper—they’re just waiting to be used to tell a story, and try as you might to start putting any little thought down on record it’s just not going to happen. Of course, we don’t conceive of the paper or screen as being friendly. No, it’s more like a black hole, just sucking your time and self-esteem away one tick of the digital clock at a time.

So why do we get stuck? Perhaps there’s too much going on in your mind to focus. That’s acceptable. Perhaps a good time to start letting the thoughts flow freely—whether or not they have anything to do with the story—on the paper, but an acceptable excuse for not getting anything done.

For a moment, however.

Or maybe you’re a perfectionist and figure “what’s the point” of writing this section since it won’t be up to your standards. I’m guilty of this often, but I’m learning that it would be better to write something at all than to write nothing. So perhaps I sit my prized manuscript aside and write a poem or two. Something that can be tweaked and preened until I’m satisfied. Best of all, it’s something that can be done without taking months to work on it.

That satisfaction can then be used as fuel to do something bigger.

Or maybe there’s just nothing to write about at all. And to that I call bull. There is always something to write about. Will it be exciting/sexy/blockbuster-esque/make you want to come back for more? No. But there’s something out there. Go out and find it!

No more excuses.

All of these excuses—some better than others—are death-knells if you don’t just start doing. Take the Super Bowl a week ago for example. The New England Patriots couldn’t seem to get anything down—their routes, blocks, the Atlanta Falcons’ running back. But instead of giving up completely they took a deep breath during halftime and orchestrated the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. They didn’t let anything stop them—they just did. Forget the past and do your job.

Do your job.

And perhaps that’s the best way to stop writers block in its tracks. Shake the dust off your pen, crack your knuckles, and start writing. If you’re serious about writing, do it. Maybe you won’t write anything great. But give it a little time, and eventually you’ll hit on something that captures your imagination. Something that you have to tell; something that won’t let the self-doubt and business of life get in the way.

And then take that story and run until you come out on top.

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