Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Overcoming writer's block after a fiasco

Overcoming writer’s block after a failure
A writer's block doesn’t come only when you are run out of ideas, no, that would be easy to fix.

In December 2016, when I published the first fragment of my memoir on Amazon, I failed big, big time.
Because of a self-imposed deadline, I couldn’t find anyone to proofread my work on time. Huge mistake. - Don’t do this. Ever.
Not even my closest friends who were aware of my struggles, couldn't overlook my linguistic errors. I expected not to be understood by strangers, but not by those so close to me.
Luckily, everybody loved the story. Which was amazing.
However, my mind went into a state of hibernation I was not prepared for. I lost my capacity of writing for several weeks. The fear of negative feedback and failure petrified me. I felt pressured and guilty for wasting precious time to the point I couldn't breathe.
But I got out of it. I finished my first novel that is now published after a year of setbacks. 

Here are my recommendations for anyone who struggles to get back on track after a massive flop.

Go mad, let the frustration and anger out - I shouted and imprecated until I lost my voice. Luckily, my daily job doesn’t require me to speak. - A small piece of advice: don’t act crazy in public, you might end up in a straightjacket. Take your car, drive away and stop where no one can hear you. Or even better, run until you’ll find a deserted area, away from living beings. And do it after you’ve taken a few days out of work; especially if your job requires speaking over the phone or dealing with customers.

Cry - I have cried for so, so many days. - You don’t have to be a woman, every man has a feminine side, use it now or never! By the way, crying cleans your eyes.

Don’t speak with people who cannot understand your struggles - They will make you feel worse, a lot worse. A friend of mine said: “Oh, please, people have no food on the table and you are whining because your book was a fiasco?” – I beg you, don’t attempt to strangle that person! Unless you are planning on taking several years out of this world. Hmmm… on a second thought, many inmates published successful books. Hmmm…

Write everything that comes into your mind - It doesn’t have to make sense. E.g. “I am a such a dead duck!” Or: “book, writing, pain, resilience, fury, dog, time, etc.”

Watch inspirational movies - Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood. Any genre: documentaries, science fiction, sports, comedies, etc. – I am not fond of body building or Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I watched “Pumping iron,” and I learned a lot. I also watched “3 Idiots,” a Hindi movie and I laughed with tears.

Clean the house, bathroom, windows, etc. - Rubbing thoroughly objects helps to dissipate the rage and gives other unexpected satisfactions. An immaculate mirror provides you with a clear idea of your ravishing (or ravished) aspect. Remember to shower and comb your hair.

Meditate and listen to positive affirmations - I cannot meditate, my mind is in a constant fracas. I’ll get there one day. But I listen to positve affirmations all the time. Isochronic and binaural beats too. 

Eat chocolate, ice cream, fruits, legumes, and drink plenty of water – I am not fond of chocolate, but I eat a lot when I cannot write.

Finally, give yourself a break! What is done is done. If you cannot fix it, unless you can so fix it then. If not, change the strategy, move on and keep fighting. Eventually, the block will dissipate if writing is what you want and love to do.
Everybody goes through periods of psychological lethargy; ask Hemingway, Maya Angelou, Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, etc., etc.
You are not done, you are just tired. The human mind is incredibly resourceful. 

It's got better for me, much much better. I write all the time now (when I am home from work). That's because my English improved and I have managed to publish some of my work.
If you cannot write, read your work, sleep and enjoy the nature. 

***
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Thank you and see you soon, amazing human being.

Image from Pixabay

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