It’s raining; again. After enjoying a very dry June and July where in return for high water bills we got to enjoy the great outdoors constantly without mosquitoes, a complete 180 in the weather pattern has brought what feels like constant rain since mid-August. It is like we are living in the Northwest, but without the mountains and the ocean to keep our minds off of the crummy weather. Being someone whose mood is in direct correlation to sunshine exposure, the wet and gray skies are really putting a damper on my attitude and inducing a horrific bout of writer’s block, which honestly could not have come at a worse time.
Writer’s block must be absolutely the nastiest thing in the world when your livelihood is dependent on putting words to paper. You just stare blankly at the screen before you, frozen by the inability to come up with anything remotely intelligent. Writing more frequently for pleasure has made me recognize how much I actually suffer from some of the same creative roadblocks that journalists and authors do in their chosen professions. As a Business Architect and Business Process Specialist, my day-to-day writing revolves around the production of intricate process flows and presentations. Although my words are more concise bullets then flowery prose, it still requires a great deal of creativity to take an entire business and condense it into a few 8x11 pages that everyone, from business executives and sales to programmers, can understand and execute upon.
This week, I am working upon two major deadlines required for 1/1/08 launches. The project plan shows that client implementation, sales, technology, training and call operations all have major dependencies on my output to move forward with their work. Adding to the pressure is this being my time to shine after the unfortunate career hiccup and consequential department shift that occurred this summer. Never in my 10 years of post-college work have I felt such pressure to go above and beyond the call of duty and show the world what I’m made of, yet, here I sit suffering from analysis paralysis and unable to put a single keystroke toward the completion of this projects. Is it the rainy blues, or am I crumbling under the pressure?
This morning, my dogs were the unfortunate victims of my writer’s block, being forced to take a very long walk in the pouring rain. Returning home 3 miles later, cold and soaking wet, yielded nothing more then two smelly, mud covered dogs and, more then likely, a cold in a few days. With the deadline looming over my head like the dark clouds outside, I am taking a chapter from straight from writer’s “how-to” books and doing the one thing that many claim cures writer’s block; writing about the writer’s block. This writing exercise is one that is recommended by professionals the world over to combat this debilitating condition. For those who have never suffered from writer’s block, the only way I can explain how it feels is taking one of those moments you are stuck in conversation, unable to think of a word, and multiply that feeling of frustration and helplessness by a million. Personally, I am overcome by a feeling that my brain is shutting down, unable to process even the tiniest thoughts. Writer’s block effects my speech patterns; I begin having a nervous stutter anticipating that the writer’s block is going to cause speakers block. Silly as it might sound; I feel overwhelmed, humbled, stupid and embarrassed even opening my mouth in front of others, afraid they are going to realize this shortcoming. Rather then bring attention upon me, I begin to clam up and stop participating in conversations and become a wallflower in meetings and workshops.
Unfortunately, I must muster through this issue and get through this week, forget the thought of producing perfect work just to produce any work at all. To compare work to school, there is just no way I can possibly get an A on this assignment, but I have to suck it up and get things done so I can just pass the class.