Friday, February 26, 2010

TODAY'S NUGGET: Bleeding Onto the Page

Do I believe in writer's block?  Yes, but only as another name for a doubting, bullying, waking-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night kind of cloud that prevents you from writing.

I make time to write every day, but recently was getting really, really irritated because no matter how much time I set aside, nothing would appear on the page.

Some have suggested I should just allow myself to write crap & just let it flow.

But that wasn't the case here. I wrote lots of crap, until one day even that dried up.  I got to a point where I'd welcome crap.  I was paralyzed, but had no idea how much, nor why.

Was it fear of failure? Actually, no.

It was much more fearsome than that.

What really freaked me out is the cracking of myself wide open and letting someone in on the innermost feelings of vulnerability, of looking like a fool.

Maybe no one else would know, but my psyche is on that page. You'd be able to see me, at a particular stage in my life, at a particular location, with all the pain and angst. 

For those of us who write seriously, that personal mental space is prime real estate.  We protect at all costs.  Once you let someone in, it's still yours... but it also isn't. 

I tried everything during this time of paralysis.  I tried giving myself permission to fail. I half-heartedly tried meditation.  I tried reading good produced scripts.  But to no avail. 

Then one day I broke through only when I concentrated on really bleeding onto the page and not protecting myself from those raw emotions.  I let the characters matter so much, it was if I were describing my pain instead of theirs, my triumph instead of theirs.   I put on their irritations, their outrage, and their longings.  There was no barrier as I transfused my soul into theirs.

And the sun finally shown.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: It takes immense courage to bleed on the page.

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