Writer's Block Is A B!+*#
For the past few weeks, I had been battling the ugly monster known as writer's block. Though my mind produced thousands of racing thoughts, translating them into words seemed impossible. It honestly made me wonder if I was even a writer at all. Outside of blogging, I also write poems, songs, and dabble in short stories. Despite my pedigree, putting together words seemed like the equivalent of searching for a needle in a haystack. One thing about a purpose is that it is undefiled despite the worldly circumstances it may encounter.
After a long talk with God, I realized my writer's block was merely a lack of faith. I know it sounds crazy but hear me out (I always say hear me out as if ya'll hear me lol). At the time, I was too focused on making my writing perfect for public consumption. Rather than being honest and speaking my truth, I sought words that I thought people would like. Quickly, I found how foolish that school of thought was. The goal in life is not to gain the adoration of others but to intentionally inspire and appreciate oneself. With that being said, I began to address my issues head-on, starting with listening to one of my favorite teachers, Dr. Maya Angelou. She reminded me, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” Not once did she mention the opinion of others. Not once did she say anything materialistic or tangible. My definition of success was so misconstrued based on societal pressures and a minuscule amount of faith in my voice. An accumulation of self-doubt and fear resulted in the silence of my truth.
The idea for this blog honestly came out of nowhere. Like, I literally went from not being able to put a sentence together to detailing my thoughts on my experience with writer's block. Maybe, India Arie had much to do with it as well. I always start my day by listening to her and those who know me best, know I love me some India. Her songs are the lyrics of my heart, mind, and soul -- and I'm serious as a heart attack when I say this. While preparing to get my brows on fleek, (ya'll still using that word? No...) her song "Slow Down" began to play and the lyrics: "Thinking the faster that I go, The faster that I will reach my goal, The race is not given to the swift but to the one who endureth. I thought that all of my obstacles were behind me. Walking around like I'm made out of diamond. I tripped and fell, and it reminded me to move over and let the angels guide me," penetrated my mind in a way that's almost indescribable. First of all, who told Prophetess Arie to convict me like that? Ouch. It was fear and irrational expectancy that caused my writer's block. When I began the year my goal was to write a blog weekly. I wanted to challenge myself to create as often as I could to gain some form of financial freedom, but secretly, the Libra in me just wanted a lot of people to like my work. I wanted people to connect with my truths but on a grand scale. I kept seeing people grow followings on social media and found myself nested in the plight of comparison. My irrational expectancy to go from 12 readers to 200,000 overnight was unrealistic. However, I'm still a Libra and surrealism is something I struggle daily lol. When the realization that the race is not given to the swift hit me, I felt assured. Nothing worth having comes easy, and anything that comes easy happens at a price. The last thing I wanted to do was dish out content for the sake of creating a following. How could I do that and not believe in my work? That would have been a lie.
I know many creatives struggle with the uncomfortable realization of not being heard. One of our many goals is, to tell the truth, and pray that it is purposefully received and that is no easy task. With the influx of gimmicks and parodies, it is easy to question one's place in the world of creativity. I got lost in the abyss of comparison and began to question the value of my words. Fear, irrational expectancy, and self-doubt were the ingredients of my issues as a creative. The scary thing is many feasts from this same pot. As Ms. India said (I'm from the south, ya'll know we call everybody Ms or Ma'am), "move over and let the angels guide you. You are on the right path. Honor what is true to you. You do not have to rush your moment. You do not have to question your worth. You do not need to be afraid of your voice. Whether five or 5 million people listen, God hears you. Tell your truth, because it is THE truth."
Referencing one of my favorite teachers again, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Dr. Maya Angelou.
Love ya'll!! - Rae