I was undergoing a temporary bout with writer’s block. Actually, it wasn’t really writer’s block; it was more like a lack of focus. Rather than concentrating on my love for writing, I was concentrating on the ability to make money.
Let’s face it, the holidays are over, I spent a little more than I wanted to, and I’m looking to get back on financial track. You know, a new year, new savings, and hopefully not new bills.
All of those thoughts cluttered my creative mind and caused me to make a detour. I no longer wrote about what I enjoyed, I concentrated my efforts trying to determine what everyone one else might enjoy reading. My passion was no longer my passion. I was trying to discover everyone else’s passion so that I can write about it. That, my dear friend, is a recipe for developing writers block.
This is not a self-discovered revelation. It came to me by way of my email inbox. Since I had free time on my hands because I wasn’t writing (being blocked and all), I decided to read a newsletter that I thought I had unsubscribed from.
In the newsletter was an article entitled “Your Niche in the New Year.” The title didn’t catch me but I read it anyway. The author, Alan Cohen, interviewed the famous science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury. Mr. Bradbury, now 87 years old, says he never worked a day in his life. It was all joy and play (I’m paraphrasing). If you enjoy what you do, it doesn’t feel like work.
Within this article were two quotes that seemed to be personally directed to me:
- “Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self,” by Cyril Connolly.
- “To find our calling is to find the intersection between our own deep joy and the world’s deep hunger,” Frederick Buechner.
After reading the two quotes, I stopped reading the newsletter opened my email composer and wrote a thank you email to Alan Cohen. Honestly, I still haven’t finished reading the rest of the newsletter. I think of that article as a gift from God. It caused me to refocus, to find my passion, my joy, my income.
For those of you who are suffering with writer’s block, think for a moment about why you’re writing. Is this something that you enjoy, is it your passion, or are you in it for the money? My bet is if you look for the joy, the money will follow.
That’s my two cents and I’m sticking with it!