Blogmas Day 17: Creative Rut

Well, I can't exactly say this blog post is being written early, but I'm strangely proud of myself for at least sitting down to write before 11:15. Baby steps, guys. If you want to know a secret though, part of the reason why Blogmas has been going up so late these past few days is because I've been in a really bad creative rut lately. It's bizarre, because last week when I was in the middle of final exams and should've forced my nose between textbook pages, all I wanted to do was write stories and pour myself into my creative endeavors. Now, when I actually have the time to devote to writing, it seems as though all of those great ideas have left without a trace. It's like the stress of my finals caused all that creative energy to shrivel up, which is supremely unfair if you ask me.

But regardless, Blogmas must be posted even when I'm not feeling up to par. I could always skip a day (because I'm sure only a few people would even notice), but I'm way too stubborn to let that happen. I would rather write something terrible than write nothing at all. That's the question though: when in a creative rut, is it better to take a complete break from creative activities or to force yourself to power through? I can't decide.

On the one hand, I think there's something to be said for making good art. In other words, I think it can be worthwhile to be creative only when the idea falls into your lap and you hit a stroke of genius. That way only the best ideas see the light of day and the creator isn't forced to produce something they aren't proud of, but I also can't help but think that's a bit of a cop-out. Because sometimes the best ideas come out of hours of hard work, crossing out dumb anecdotes and throwing away carelessly painted canvases. Because sometimes being frustrated or upset or feeling empty produces the best work. Writing--or any other art form for that matter--is never perfect on the first draft or on the first haphazard try. Sometimes working through the rut is best: the only way out is through.

After all, us creative types love to blame our laziness and negligence on some sort of rut. Writers get writer's block, artists can't seem to find their "artistic vision." Then before you know it, weeks have gone by without a word written or a brush stroke made. And it's supposedly because of this "rut." As I just explained, sometimes I think that's valid, but a lot of times I think it's bullshit. Doctors don't get "doctors block," lawyers always seem to find their "legal vision." Who are we--as artists--to count ourselves out for lack of imminent inspiration? Who says we get to sit out for a few weeks while we "find ourselves" again? I don't know. I think for me right now, as an unemployed and unprofessional writer, it's not that big of a deal. I totally could allow myself some time away from keyboards and ballpoint pens, but something tells me I'd let that snowball out of control. Then next thing you know I have no purpose in life and I'm forced to pay back my student loans over the course of eighty years while I sweep floors for minimum wage. Whoa there, self, calm down. That was a bit overdramatic.

So what I'm trying to say guys is I'm trying. I can only apologize for the lackluster blog posts and hope tomorrow brings with it an amazingly inspired idea, but I wouldn't count on it. I'm just trying to plug ahead and work through the writer's block. Thanks for hanging in there while I do so.

"Writing about writer's block is better than not writing at all." -Charles Bukowski

x,
Lauren

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