Writer’s Block: The big lie that everyone ( & Seth Godin) is talking about
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. Time has been stolen every which way from my day and when I did manage to have a moment to spare to write a post for Divergent Entrepreneur, I found myself plagued with the single question: "What if its not good enough?"
Writers for centuries have been asking this very same question and using the term "Writer's Block" as an excuse to give themselves breathing room to break through on their next novel, poem or even small blog post. When in reality, at a deeper level something more sinister is going on.
Seth Godin's new podcast.
For those of you who don't know who Seth Godin is, you need to stop immediately and go to Amazon and pick up the 3 books:
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Seth is by far one of the greatest minds when it comes to marketing and the message that companies as well as entrepreneurs are sending to their customers and/or industries. Over the years I have been on a mission to read and listen to just about everything Seth has to offer, and when I heard that he was starting a new podcast I was in and ready for Day One.
The new podcast he is creating is called Akimbo which literally means hands on hips an expression that denotes irritation, frustration and down-right disgust, but Seth's tone, desire and truths presented within are hardly that. This weeks topic was on Writers Block and when people invoke the term when they are afraid that their work will fail.
It always comes down to fear.
Will it be good enough? Do I have the expertise to tell others how to do something I have only just figured out? Will people respect my opinion? These are all the fears that run through a person's brain when they are the hook to create content and when faced with the freedom from distraction to start writing a paralysis can set in. Rather than admit that you have succumbed to the fear, you simply say you have "writer's block". Everyone you tell this to nods their heads in unison, but internally they know what it really means because they too have used this most sacred of excuses when avoiding the responsibility of their dreams.
In life, it seems normal to start things but rare to finish. We often start blogs or businesses or medical school, but we rarely see the achievement of those dreams. Why is that? Why do we have such grand visions with the rarest opportunity for fulfillment? We are afraid. Afraid that what we have to offer that seems good on a Thursday will be stupid on a Friday. What seems like brilliance in this moment will be perceived as trite the next so we are "creatively blocked." It's easier this way.
What if its not what you think?
Instead of worrying if what you are writing is one of the good ones that you can somehow pick which is good and which isn't, you take the approach that the good ideas, blogposts and books are inside of you along with the bad ones. That the order in which they are sorted is random and the only way to select them is to deliver them on the page and let the world decide which is a diamond and which is a lump of coal. Then the pressure to be great is removed. Then you don't have to write the next great American novel today in this moment you just write and discover what you have to offer.
That in and of itself would be great. It would be freeing and most importantly it would be honest. Everything that the shield of "Writer's Block" is not. So, what are you waiting for? Today is the day you start.