Tuesday, October 8, 2019


I have periods of high creativity and low creativity. But writer’s block isn’t invited to any of my days.

I refuse to have writer’s block.

I connect that feeling of “I’ve got nothing to offer” some writers experience to perfectionism. I haven’t been cursed with perfectionism.

*{Perfectionism as a block is not to be confused with depression, which may block most every activity. I'm blessed not to be prone to that, either. I think Writer's Block, specifically, is caused by aiming at pristine results right off the bat.}

Writing anything, regardless of how well it’s coming out, has to do sometimes.

 I’m okay with that. In fact, I give a self-pat-on-the-back for plowing through the barren patches even more than the fertile ones.

It’s the perfectionist who crumbles half-typed pieces of paper in disgust, or deletes whole Word files in exasperation. Not good enough! Bad! I can’t write!
Which is another way of saying it isn’t perfect.

Perfect, as far as I’m concerned, is an illusion. Going for perfect is a delusion. But keeping going is the real deal.

I’ve discovered this long ago, when I realized that some of the chapters I’ve written under feelings of drought actually read better than what I experienced as inspired writing at the time.

 But even that is subjective.

Letting go of the search for perfection also brings the blessing of knocking down that thing, the writer’s block.
Knocking it off block by block.


ikmar said...

Here! Here! :)

Kelly Hashway said...

I think I can actually comment somehow! I don't know why.

Anyway, I will write anything I can think of to avoid writer's block. If I get blocked on one part of a story, I jump ahead to another to keep writing.

Mirka Breen said...

Hooray, kelly!
^Both for succeeding to post, ^and for always plowing through. You are many writers' inspiration when it comes to productivity.

Vijaya said...

Keeping on is the real deal and the muse can't stay away too long. Sorry about the spam--I've had the same problem, not just on the blog but email as well. So many ads. Yet, I still have to monitor the spam folder because once in a while there's an important email from an editor...I don't know how they end up in there.

Mirka Breen said...

Unlike Writer's Block, I do endorse spam blockers ;)
If only they were perfect... But we do what we can.

Evelyn said...

Makes sense to me. :)

Janie Junebug said...

I agree: there's no such thing as writer's block. When I was a university writing tutor, if students told us they had nothing to say about the assignment, we often told them to free write for five minutes, even if all they wrote was "I can't write." Just the action of putting pen to paper or fingers on keyboard can lead to writing something.


MirkaK said...

This apt quote is attributed to Confucius and still valid today, whether you're an artist, writer, teacher, parent, gardener, or anything else: "Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without one."

Mirka Breen said...

Confucius lives!
I like this from Leonard Cohen:

"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in"

Barbara Etlin said...

Love that Leonard Cohen quote! It reminds me of a type of Japanese pottery, Kintsugi, that actually emphasizes and beautifies the cracks by filling them with gold.

I'm guilty of being a perfectionist at times. I can identify with the crumpled paper scenario.

Mirka Breen said...

Let the light in, Barbara :)

Powdered Toast Man said...

Sometimes I have commenter's block. Not now though because I just came up with that right now.

Johnell said...

Great topic. It definitely helps the flow of things if I'm not always trying to correct along the way.

Unknown said...

Your posts are always so thoughtful. Thank you for the reminder that even on those days when our writing feels flat, if we persist and get the words down, sometimes when we return to those jottings we discover a little gem!

Mirka Breen said...

Thank you, Laura Unknown ;) for all the literary poetic gems you have blessed us with. Glad we found a way to make posting possible, even if Google thinks you are unknown.

janlcoates said...

During school visits, students always ask me how I deal with writers' block, and I have to tell them it's not something I know much about. Too many ideas and not enough time seems to be more of a problem for me.