Writer's Block and Lao-tzu
Lately, I’ve been struggling with writer’s block. The dictionary definition (according to Google) for writer’s block is: the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. That is not exactly what I’ve been experiencing. I have many subjects I love to write about and I write about them. But when it comes time to post them I don’t. Lao-tzu, a Chinese philosopher who lived about 2,500 years ago, said, “Care about other peoples’ approval and you will be their prisoner.” Now, one could take many different meanings from that statement, but what I took from it is that I am too dang concerned about how I write my blogs. Many of my previous blogs have been somewhat a reflection of my thoughts; however, I have taken a lot of care in trying to write something that will offend no one while simultaneously arousing interest. Well, that just doesn’t work for me. Lao-tzu also said, “True words aren’t eloquent and eloquent words aren’t true.” I’m pretty sure he was talking about politics, but for me it just emphasizes the problem I’m faced with: please people or tell the “truth.” My truth is often not all that happy. It isn’t exactly pessimistic as more realistic, such as, the world is dying and we are responsible so let’s get off our collective arse and actually do something about it. I am a student of environmental studies and natural science-there is no possible way to be optimistic about the future of our species with that knowledge. I do have hope, so I consider myself a realist as opposed to a pessimist. The gist of the dozens of blogs I have written in my head or in Word is HELP! WE ARE WRECKING THE EARTH! MY KIDS ARE IN DANGER! This may seem overly dramatic here in the insulated northeast, but just take a real look at the world and you will see why I feel the way I do. Why the heck do we write anyway? I don’t know, but I am compelled to do so. Think about musicians who experience stage fright and still perform time and again. It certainly isn’t about money; most musicians don’t make a living at it. Maybe writer’s block is a little like stage fright, you just grit your teeth and get through it until it goes away! PS: If you sing don’t actually grit your teeth, just do grounding exercises and focus on your breathing.