How I Overcome Writer's Block
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.
Hubs I've Written After Encountering the Dreaded Writer's Block
- Hawaiian Odysseus' MAD COW HubPages Award
What's the knock on MAD COW anyway? This writer happens to think our bovine friend is definitely deserving of some respect and appreciation.
- Makalehua--How I Found My Long Lost Sister on eBay!
It had literally been years since he'd last spoken with, let alone seen, his younger of two sisters. How ironic, then, for this online entrepreneur to finally meet up with her on the gargantuan global marketplace, eBay!
- Sold in 11 Minutes and 15 Seconds--on ebay!
Personal records may not mean much to the rest of the world. Where they truly count is in challenging an individual to constantly improve his or her efforts. Here's a case in point...
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.
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.
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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.