At the beginning of this year and the start of this blog I would’ve said (and I did) that I didn’t get writer’s block. At the time I had this romantic idea of what writer’s block was. These tortured artists who sit and toil away for hours staring at blank paper (or a blank computer screen) and not come up with anything. Not a story idea. Not a word. Not a character. They’d try only to waste a forest of trees in crumpled paper that would accumulate on their floor.
Turns out this is really ONE kind of writer’s block (supposedly). This post I found lays out 10 kinds of writer’s block and I’m sure if you talk to different people they might mention more than 10 (or less). However, it doesn’t really talk about the version I have (if writer’s block is even a thing). My version is that I don’t have the ambition to write. I want to because I know I enjoy it and enjoy the results, but excuses to not even start are coming to me too easily! Or excuses to not continue after the first blush of an idea are coming too easily.
Some suggest, like I hinted at earlier, that writer’s block isn’t real. It’s just a construct. I think my instinct to say “I don’t get writer’s block” was already naturally leading me in that direction. I don’t get it because it’s not a thing!
For me procrastination has ALWAYS been the name of the game. It’s why I started this blog with a built in monthly deadline. I was on Twitter (probably procrastinating) and I saw a tweet from actor/director/screenwriter Joseph Gordon-Levitt (twitter.com/hitRECordJoe). He has this website called HitRECord that is a platform for artists of all kinds (writers, painters, illustrators, actors, animators, singers, musicians, etc.) to contribute their work in any form (complete or incomplete) and then other artists can “remix” it or add to it. They’ve published books, done a TV show, etc. And if they use any portion of something you created in something that generates profit you (as a contributor) get a small percentage of said profit. Interesting concept. The idea is that it encourages artists to STOP PROCRASTINATING and just “hit record” whatever “record” is for your art form. In my case it’s just “write.” This works with the idea of this blog (write a short story every month, you lazy sack of bones)! And it also works with how I felt after coming out of my three week coma after my brain injury. As I discuss in this blog post, I discovered after coming out of my coma I had a new focus. A new drive. I just needed to WRITE MY STORY.
Today I was procrastinating from writing this blog and that was my way of procrastinating from writing any of my stories or my memoir about the accident. And so I logged onto social media (as you do when procrastinating). And I saw Joe’s tweet where he linked a “hit record” where the challenge was to write a 2 sentence horror story. So I used my experience with my hearing and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as inspiration. Even though it was fiction it took notes from my experience. (And it was indeed fiction because this really isn’t my experience even though the TBI does cause sound to distort and for me to hear things that aren’t there. Read more about my hearing here).
The HitRECord experience was good because it got me to not only WRITE MY STORY, but turn it into fiction.
Here’s my two sentence horror story on HitRECord:
Well enough writer’s block/procrastination! I’m actually going to write my real short stories now. However, HitRECord was certainly helpful and I will use it in the future.
If you’re every browsing HitRECord.org here’s a link to my username. I haven’t really collaborated on anything yet. I’d like to.