Sometimes creative dry spells can be broken in unexpected ways. This morning, Lauren Lola, author of A Moment’s Worth, shares her story of getting past a particularly vicious one. If you’ve got some inspiring advice to share, please send it in!
There comes a time and place in a creator’s journey where they’re going to face a creative block of some sort. Whether it comes completely out of nowhere or could be seen from a mile away, they’re bound to happen, and the struggle can be real.
That is something I had faced for months prior to making one of the biggest decisions of my life.
I had just completed my second year of college and I was well aware of the fact that I was in a major creative block. While I was writing all the time, they tended to be non-creative works; such as academic papers, news outlet articles, and the entries I’d write in my personal journals. While I was enjoying the slew of writing that I was doing in these other mediums, I could not ignore the dry spell. My creative muscle was craving to be exercised, but what was missing was something—specifically a narrative—for me to carve out and make my own.
Creative blocks are bound to happen, and the struggle can be real. Sometimes it takes the right inspiration, the right timing, and the right epiphany to break it.
That summer, two things happened that I consider significant in helping me crack my block. First of all, I had gotten to see one of my favorite actors at one of the stops for his tour for his debut novel. As much as I was proud of him, I also couldn’t help feel a little envious too. He’s only two years older than me, and amidst all the amazing accomplishments he had done up to that point as an actor, the fact he also made his dream come true in becoming an author made me feel like a total underachiever.
The other thing was that I had joined the staff of a non-profit organization whose goal is to seek out and showcase up-and-coming performance talent from the (often underrepresented) Asian American community. Watching and getting to meet the people who would participate in that year’s annual showcase had me in awe, for I was captivated by their willingness to go after their dreams, while breaking boundaries along the way.
After these two experiences, I wound up blowing up my block to bits that fall. It started off small, with a single short story. After that, a number of them started coming to me, each hitting me at light’s speed. A new confidence surged through me as I realized what I had on my plate before me, and by the end of that year, I had made the decision to write my first novel.
If there was anything to gain from that summer, it’s that sometimes it takes the right inspiration, the right timing, and the right epiphany to break a creative block. As long as one remains open-minded enough to all and any possibilities, then it’s safe to say that when on this creative journey, anything is possible.
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