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How I Overcome Writer's Block

Updated on March 9, 2013
Plaza Way Starbucks in Walla Walla, WA
Plaza Way Starbucks in Walla Walla, WA | Source

Falling Off the HubPages Bustin' Bronco

Sir Isaac Newton and yours truly had a meeting of the minds this afternoon in the above-featured Starbucks.

Props to Sir Ike for the wisdom to put into words physical laws that are so absurdly simple that they're difficult to define. At the same time, BOO! on him for reminding me why I'm experiencing this massive writer's block.

Newton's first law of motion, more familiarly known as The Law of Inertia , states that:

An object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion remains in motion unless acted on by an unbalanced force.

The Longer I Stay on the Ground, the Longer the Bronco Keeps Kicking My Butt

want to assert creative writer's license here and reverse the order of Newton's law for the purpose of making my point in this article.

An object in motion remains in motion...

For the last three months, I've been the proverbial busy beaver slamming mud and sticks together to fabricate my dam of Hubs. Lo and behold! Before I knew it, I'd reached another milestone: 40 Hubs and counting.

But that's about the time I was due for my second cataract surgery. I had no worries. The first operation had been a breeze. Any anxiety regarding the second procedure, then, was definitely reduced by the success of the first. Writing and building Hub upon Hub works on the same general principle. Once you start writing, keep writing. Law of Inertia, right?

Well, wise Newton included the disclaimer portion of his First Law of Motion for a good reason.

...unless acted on by an unbalanced force...

In my case, the second cataract removal operation was a bit different than the first. Whereas the first procedure involved the ophthalmologist maneuvering skillfully in the clear area of the lens, the second operation involved a different strategy. Due to an astigmatism in my left eye, the doctor bore a tunnel through the white of my eye to get to the lens. While I certainly don't understand the complexity of nor the reason for this procedure, my body language on the table as I felt the pressure and pain in my eye prompted the surgeon to ask the anesthesiologist to give me more comfort.

My surgery took place early on a Friday morning. In the wee hours of the ensuing morning, my cat woke me up by scratching on my bed frame, his signal that he needed to go relieve himself outside. While I wasn't too happy about getting out of bed at 3:30 AM, the consequence for not obliging my cat would have been even more unpleasant.

As I carefully moved around in the dark, I had the oddest sensation--like I had a patch over my left eye. I became increasingly agitated as the fear and anxiety hit me square in the gut. Oh, no! Am I going blind?

I reported the sensation to my wife. It was really odd! When the light was on, I could see out of my left eye. Even though it seemed as if a veil covered my eye, I chalked it up as a normal stage in the healing process. In the dark, however, I definitely could not see very well with my left eye.

My wife quickly called the doctor and filled him in. Though his office is normally closed on the weekends, he asked me to come in at 7 (a mere three hours later) on that Saturday morning.

The good doctor ran some tests on me. I actually had 20-20 vision in my left eye! The best part was when he reassured me that what I was experiencing was pretty much par for the course and that I'd soon be seeing better, even at night.

Sure enough, later that evening, I was driving home from a social outing my wife and I had attended. There still seemed to be a bit of a veil over my eye, but at least things had greatly improved.

With all this commotion going on, my volume of writing took a tumble. I didn't want to strain my eyes, and so I was content doing minimal online work which included simple and nominally effective HubPages monetization strategies.

I'm now roughly 700 words into this Hub just after midnight on Friday, a week after my surgery. I'll finish this article tomorrow morning.

**********

Okay! Good morning to all of you! It's 8:05 AM, and once again, I'm ready to jump-start my optical health-induced writer's block. I'm writing this in real time to emphasize the urgency I'm feeling about not having been able to be more productive in recent days. Conventional wisdom would tell me to slow down, enjoy the rest, and take time to regroup. But when did I ever claim to be conventional?

The way I'm wired, my most productive times have occurred whenever I've been under tremendous pressure. When I was a kid, I always procrastinated. Homework, preparing for an exam, and the writing of term papers were reserved for the eleventh hour. There were too many other things to do, like helping my parents care for five younger siblings; going fishing; participating in football or basketball practice after school; working part-time at a local grocery store; reading scores of books; and collecting stuff--like comic books, stamps, seashells, rocks, bugs, and other universal mysteries.

Okay, so I'm at the point where I need to find that magic something all writers seek to find when they are literary- (not literally... there's a difference) constipated .

...an object at rest tends to stay at rest...

Sir Isaac Newton, bless his soul, provides the answer in his Law of Inertia. If it took an unbalanced force (my post-surgical complications) to derail my diligent writing regimen, it stands to reason that I need to find an unbalanced force to catapult me back into the HubPages bronco saddle. If the horse (life's challenges) throws you, you don't give up. You simply get back up on the horse and try again.

Perseverance is the key. No matter how many setbacks one has encountered, the successful individual always manages to find a way to get back up one time more than he or she has fallen.

Hanalei Beach on the Island of Kaua'i
Hanalei Beach on the Island of Kaua'i | Source
The Tools of a Writer's Trade--Great Coffee Shop Environment; Venti Caramel Frappucino; and Laptop
The Tools of a Writer's Trade--Great Coffee Shop Environment; Venti Caramel Frappucino; and Laptop | Source
Deep Sea Fishing with Family in Hawai'i
Deep Sea Fishing with Family in Hawai'i | Source
Crabbing in Oregon
Crabbing in Oregon | Source
The Zen of Visualization (aka Okay, I Didn't Catch A Thing Today, But I Had Fun, Anyway!)
The Zen of Visualization (aka Okay, I Didn't Catch A Thing Today, But I Had Fun, Anyway!) | Source
The Joy of Family
The Joy of Family | Source
Keiki O Ka Aina (Children of the Land)
Keiki O Ka Aina (Children of the Land) | Source

Look out, Bronco! I'm Kicking Your A$$!

So here's my strategy for kicking the bane of writer's block.

  • I place myself in a comfortable chill environment where I've experienced successful writing in the past.
  • The tools of the writing trade are right in front of me--my laptop and a venti caramel frappucino.
  • I meditate upon fond memories of Kaua'i--my home of origin--and the sweet aloha of ohana (family).
  • Visualization is key to my success. I see it happening before it happens. The finished Hub; linking with other Hubs; developing and contributing to a myriad of Hub communities; connecting with the dear people behind the Hubs; constantly building, like the construction of a massive skyscraper, touching the hearts and minds of fellow Hubbers; mushrooming uncontrollably in the perennial success; having the income to then be able to visit my loved ones in Hawai'i; and always being able to give back at every stage along the way.
  • The ideas begin to flow. I reach for my notebook and jot down the unleashed flood of images and key words that will serve me well in the busy Hub construction to follow.
  • If, for some reason, I still am stuck like a Honda Accord in the red Hawaiian mud, I immediately utilize a device my wife has great success with--I MAKE LISTS! Nonsensical or practical, it doesn't matter. What truly matters is that I'm exercising both physiological and metaphorical muscles in the process of writing. I make lists about improbable expectations such as: Today, I will write ten Hubs; finish three blog posts; list twenty items on eBay and ten items on Etsy; begin working on my free Wix website; and--if I have some spare time, perform fifty monetization strategies on HubPages. The point is, even if I only do one-tenth of what I wrote down, I at least hurdled that freakin' writer's block.

I'm Back in the HubPages Saddle Again!

And guess what, dear reader? I followed the above strategy to a T and the Hub you just read is the fruit of my effort.

Finally, there's one last thing I do...the glue that binds everything together for me and for the universe as I see it.

Silently or quietly, I utter, Thank You, God.

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @prospectboy

    Why, thank you so much, my friend!

    I've flopped more than enough times in my life, yet I was always convinced that if I could just get back up on my feet one more time than I'd fallen down, I'd someday be a winner.

    Since you're from Texas, I don't think I'd be wrong to share with you the following anecdote. When I was separated from my family in order to hold down a steady full time job 250 miles away from home, I was inspired by a young man preaching in Houston. Every Sunday morning, I'd get up about 4 AM to catch his television sermons. His name is Joel Osteen.

    By listening to God's message through Joel and by getting deeper into the Word, I began building foundations for a new way of living.

    I'm confident we'll share more through the HP forum as time goes by. I am just so thankful to be able to read some of the finest writing I've ever encountered right here in this literary community...present company included, sir.

    Aloha, and have a wonderful weekend!

  • prospectboy profile image

    Bradrick H. 4 years ago from Texas

    You've written a great personal piece here. You mentioned a few quotes here that I absolutely love like; "perseverance is the key". I agree totally with you on that. The problem is that so many people stop when they don't see the results they want. Like you mentioned, we gotta keep moving towards our goals. Writer's block affects us all from time to time, but it's definitely something that can be overcome. You seem to have an excellent strategy that works well for you. Glad to hear you're back on the Hubpages saddle, and even more happy to hear that you're better after your surgery. I voted this hub up, and gave it an awesome. Also sharing it on my Twitter page, and with my Facebook followers. Job well done sir :)

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @ rajan jolly

    Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support, my friend! I admire the quantity and quality of your literary output here on HP. Yours is a familiar and well-trusted reference HP name!

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Very interesting read. Thanks for sharing your experience and strategy with getting over the writer's block.

    Voted up & interesting.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Aloha and mahalo for reading and for your kind feedback, DM! I love your poetry! Take care, and best wishes!

  • Deep Metaphysical profile image

    Deep Biswas 4 years ago from India

    If only I could live so close to the sea...

    Useful ideas I derived from here. Definitely gonna try out the list making thing, it's just crazy enough to work! :P

    Awesome hub, beautiful images. Cheers mate!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, htodd! Thank YOU for reading my Hub. I like sharing photographs with fellow Hubbers of both my past and present hometowns. The whole concept of Hawaiian Odysseus is about a journey through life. I'm glad and grateful for your participation in this journey. Best wishes and continued success to you in your HubPages endeavors.

  • htodd profile image

    htodd 4 years ago from United States

    That is really nice place ..Thanks a lot

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    My eyes are doing much, much better now, thank you! You are such a faithful follower/sharer here on HubPages. That's the most wonderful thing about this special site--the true sense of community and connection! I am so grateful and proud to have that bond with you and the other great Hubbers I've come to know. Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    That's very kind of you, Diana Lee! I am healing quite nicely, the main challenge now being the remembrance to keep using those eyedrops consistently. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, and as I shared with another Hubber, as I heal, I'll enjoy reading your Hubs, too. Take care, and have a great rest of the Memorial Day weekend!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    You know, I am stumbling over myself learning how to reply to my commentators. I didn't see a Reply button until I had used the regular comments section. Anyway, thanks again, xstatic!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Good morning, xstatic! Yes, I am so happy to have been blessed with a great surgeon who did a fantastic job with both cataract surgeries. I reported honestly about both experiences, especially the anxiety over the second one, but now that I can see 20/20 and 20/30, respectively, I am very pleased and grateful. Thanks for your encouragement and positive comments! As I heal, I'll be reading your hubs, too. Best regards!

  • wetnosedogs profile image

    wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

    Enjoyed this hub and needed to read it. Are your eyes better now? Will be so happy to read more hubs from you. Enjoyed the pictures.

  • Diana Lee profile image

    Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

    This is a very good come-back hub. I'm sure you have many more to follow this one. Thanks for sharing your ordeal with us. I'm so glad you are on the mends.

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Great and instructive Hub! I enjoyed the "let me tell you about this" tone and photographs too. UP! Shared!

    BTW, I had cataract surgery two years ago, restored both eyes to 20/20. Isn't it great!

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