It’s been a while since I’ve written for my blog. Part of me feels like I let myself down, but another part reminds me that breaks are healthy, and allowing myself to slowly collapse into a staggering dumpster fire would have been an issue. A collection of familial and personal emergencies kept me away from reading and writing, and the residual effect of those events still weighs on the back of my neck as an invisible oppressive force.
Engaging in literature has long been my escape from the world, as it is for most people who enjoy reading, writing, or performing. However, for a brief blip of my life, it no longer felt like an escape. I would sit down behind my keyboard, index fingers resting on the F and J keys, but struggled to feel a force behind them. Writing wasn’t an easy rabbit hole to tumble into. And even after I spent too much money at Barnes & Noble, I couldn’t muster enough energy to flip a page.
Of course, writer’s block plagues us all. But where that blockage often feels like the ideas are locked away behind some gateway that I simply lack to key to access, this recent sensation resembled a drought. Even if I possessed that key, it would reveal a desolate tundra of barren ideas. Something had consumed my inspiration and run off without me in tow.
During these barren months, I learned how to escape from my typical escape. I worked to untether myself from the typical roots that filled me with wonder. They weren’t working anymore, and I had no intention of giving up my aspirations. At first, I thought that I might only need a handful of days apart from thinking about craft and content and characters. But after those days went by and nothing gnawed at the back of my brain, begging to be put on paper, I felt a pit grow in my stomach. I didn’t know if ideas would ever pump back through me.
And, honestly, to this point, I’m still not certain I’ve recovered from that. I don’t have expansive worlds at play in the recesses of my mind, even after I’ve just finished reading a particularly thrilling book. I don’t constantly have characters biting at the bit to materialize upon the page. I don’t seem to feel the same way I did before. But I don’t see it as problematic.
Going through this drought has taught me how to let go of the aspects of my life that are holding me back and find new methods of approaching my creative process. Although I’ve never felt as discouraged about my writing as I did several weeks ago, that dreadful emotion forced me to view my work in new ways. Failures and setbacks have always been a source of discouragement and disillusionment for me, but as I continue to reflect on those past events, they have rarely defined my life. Instead, I have used them to continue pushing forward, and that is how I have used my recent drought.
While using literature as a form of escapism has allowed me to function throughout my life, I did not realize that it was simultaneously draining my ability to continue forward. Escaping from the aspects of life that plague me created a desolate environment of ideas, devoid of inspiration, and deadly to my ambitions. It wasn’t until I was able to step away from my escapist tendencies that I realized I was gradually corrupting my creativity.
My break from constantly ensnaring myself in an unhealthy misdirection of my emotional needs has given me the opportunity to reflect on learning from the ever-present pain and rejection and thrive through it. It has shown me that writing and reading shouldn’t merely be my escape—they should be part of the whole journey.
Oh, My Word! It has been quite a while since the blog has been updated, but everything will be returning to business as usual! Breaks and periods of introspection are always important. Jacob hopes you have all been well as of late!
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Oh, My Word! is a weekly updated blog featuring fiction, poetry, drama, and essays for the world. #OhMyWordWednesdays
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