I found myself in a conversation about writer's block recently and I've been thinking about it since. I realized that the reason I don't often struggle with writer's block is that I don't have any deadlines. I did struggle with finishing a particular poem before the reading last week. I was adamant about reading that one and so, felt pressure to finish it. When I did, the anxiety about the reading almost completely dissolved. All was right with the world and I felt brave.
I'm not sure you can have writer's block when you don't have a deadline, but I do notice that I'll suddenly realize one day that I haven't written anything for a few weeks and it makes me nervous. It can be disorienting, like an integral part of me is silent and I'm not sure why. "Muse", I wonder, "you haven't deserted me for good, have you?". Maybe she was just taking a break. Then she'll stop by and won't stop chattering in my ear for days. I love those days, when I'm so busy I can't even remember what all I've written.
I've learned a lot about my process lately. I write when there is something there and I don't try to force it when nothing comes. This is the luxury of being a non-professional writer. So on the days when my hands are sore from writing, when my cat is ready to attack my lap-top, when I've forgotten there are such things as dishes, I am in my element. I feel so alive and so free, caught-up in the flow of life. I'm happier when I write. That is not to say I write about happy things, only that I feel better when I'm trying to express things that are going on inside.
So on those prolific days, I think to myself, "I should just be a writer. Someone should pay me to stay home all day and write things. I don't even care if it's creative. I would be willing to write anything!". But what about that block? Would I be haunted by an absence of words? Would it be possible for me to spend even a moment not-liking writing? I suppose I don't have to worry about that right now. But just in case I find that perfect writing-related job, I'm going to push myself just a bit. I'm going to set some goals and see if I can't help keep my creative fire at least in embers at all times, so that a great fire of insight could be stoked at any moment. If I'm open to that, the Muse may just stay with me.