The most infamous part of writing anything - poetry, stories, songs - is writer's block. That feeling of staring at a page and coming up with nothing for days. Anyone who has written anything has felt this (essays and school papers included). The worst part about writer's block is it leads to procrastination. Sitting at a keyboard or picking up a notebook starts to feel defeating, so you avoid it.
Since I've been back in Toronto, writer's block has set in aggressively. And I find that happens sometimes when I'm moving. Mainly, because I get out of the habit of writing; of sitting for an extended period of time and fine tuning ideas. Before a move, there is so much work to do to get prepared to leave somewhere for a while, the packing, seeing people that I'm going to miss, a good deep clean of my apartment. Plus, after the move there is a lot of hustling and bustling on the other end. Things like writing can get pushed under the rug in situations such as this. And as many of you may know, once you break a routine, it's hard to get back into it.
Think of it like this. If you go to the gym every three days for two months, keeping on that schedule isn't so hard. You're just maintaining your course. But if you go on vacation for two weeks and come back, it's a lot harder to maintain that habit you've broken. Once my schedule for summer started to set in, it was hard to remind myself to keep writing. To get back in the groove.
But when I do sit down, and I'm out of practice. Things that at one time came so easily are difficult again. My voice is out of shape, my hands are tired from playing guitar after only an hour. All sad songs sound melodramatic and happy songs sound cheesy. Lines don't fit together, there is no clear thematic overlay. Wouldn't it just be easier to learn to play someone else's songs? Be a cover artist? I've written tons of songs before that nobody's heard, I can use those and by the time I'm out of songs I will have written something new. Something that's ready to show.
And I think that's a lot of it, my writer's block comes less from not being able to write anything, but more nothing that is good enough. I want to write something I'm in love with, but those take time and sometimes the best songs need to be laboured over. The thought needs to become cohesive before it can become a song.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The other day, I sat at the kitchen table with my younger sister and pitched her an idea for a song, something small that I couldn't quite put my finger on yet, but felt like it was a good idea. It wasn't a full thought, but it was on its way.
And TODAY, I wrote a song. Verses, chorus, bridge, all of it in one sit down.
That's really all I have to say, I don't know how to celebrate the defeat of my writer's block in any other way, so I'm letting y'all know.
From me, with love, to you,