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How to overcome a postmodern writer’s block
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How to overcome a postmodern writer’s block

by Natalia DEMBOWSKA 4 min. 12.11.2021 From our online archive
Natalia Dembowska writes about why she doesn't write - and how to change that
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Whenever my fragile self-esteem allows me, I call myself a writer. Although I somewhat lack experience due to my young age and booming social life, I do write and I do get paid for it. Hence from time to time, I identify as a writer.

Nowadays, a lot of people say they are writers. Everybody has something to say, and the outlets allowing you to do so are mushrooming. The cash is not very good and a stable income inexistent, but at least some of us can make some money while having a glass of wine on a terrace. Personally, I find that sexy and cool and definitely worth the while.

As much as I romanticise the idea of being a writer - as someone experiencing life and transmitting it into words, preferably in a pair of big vintage glasses and a cigarette in hand - it is sadly not enough of a motivation for me to achieve any sort of consistency.

What can I say? I also identify as a lazy bitch - procrastinating, the neglected tasks weighing on my shoulders keeping me from becoming a famous and greatly respected author, preferably in a pair of Louboutins, rumoured as a candidate for the next Nobel Prize.

Truth be told, I haven’t written in a while. But still - I am a writer. And most of all - I need money. In order to escape a downward spiral I found myself in, I decided to write about why I am not writing. 

It is simple: writing about something that you experience is easier than about something you don’t experience. So for all you victims of the vicious yet self-induced inner pressure of idealised ambitions, here is a guide to motivate you to get a grip and write something. Anything.

Are you staring at a blank page, not being able to utter a word? Are you telling yourself to be productive but failing to produce? Are you tired of your pathetic existence? Don’t worry - I got you covered. Thanks to these easy and effective tips, you will turn into a machine, a veritable typewriter. Don’t give up! Fame and respect are just around the corner.

1. Check all your social media. Scroll through Instagram, answer all your messages, send all the TikToks you need to. It is important to get all of this out of your system. There is no need to lie to yourself that you don’t care, so you might as well get it out of the way. (Estimated time: 5 hours)

2. When you’re done scrolling, pace around in your room. Without pacing, nothing has ever been written. Nothing ever will be. Without pacing nothing can truly be written. So get out of your chair and stop pretending like you’re writing, because we both know you’re not. Pacing lowers your blood pressure and gets those glutes going. So get to work. (Estimated time: 2 hours)

3. When you’re done pacing, reflect on the meaning of life. Not just your own life (although that is also a fun dead end street to consider), but general. Who are we? Why are we here anyway? Do aliens exist? (Estimated time: 4 hours)

4. Smoothly transitioning from existentialism into frustration, get angry at the system. Think about how little you will get paid for what you are writing and how unfair that is. There are millionaires and billionaires out there and you’re at this shitty café counting how many more words you have to write to pay this month’s rent. (Estimated time: 2 hours)

5. Now is the time for an even smoother transition from anger into having a casual alcoholic beverage. If you start your piece without a glass of wine at hand, get a grip or change profession. (Estimated time: 1 hour)

6. Think about all the ways in which your family failed you. (Estimated time: 2 hours)

7. Consider the environment and the fact that we’re all probably going to die before you even submit your next article. (Estimated time: 3 hours)

8. Think about how nothing really matters and we’re all just a tiny speck of dust in this huge unexplored universe. (Estimated time: 3 hours)

9. Reminisce about the one that got away. (Estimated time: 6 hours)

10. Now think about all the times your parents were right about your poorly planned decisions. This is actually an effective tip to finish a text and prove to yourself you still got it. Just hate-type your text, fuelled by all that shame and grudge. (Estimated time: 1 hour)

11. Use this tiny momentum to delude yourself thinking you will never experience a writer’s block again. Go out and celebrate.

There it is. Eleven easy steps to get you out of the funk and into the groove. I hope they work as well for you as they do for me. Remember: whatever you do while procrastinating will ultimately lead to actual writing. Just make sure you respect your process. Have a blessed creative time and stay patient. 

Loads of love from one unhinged writer to another.

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