MF 280 : Moving forward with your “blocks”
In this episode, I talk about “blocks” – writing blocks, roadblocks and mental blocks that hit around this time of year and why it should be part of your moving forward formula. www.bemovingforward.com.
Embracing your “blocks” even if you can’t move forward
This week, I’m feeling a bit stuck. It’s the February / March lull, that nether region between the long end of winter and the first peek at spring. The days are still short, the weather is still cold, albeit topsy turvy and that New Year’s energy to conquer goals and kick-ass feels like it’s running on empty.
This creeped into my podcast. I did about 4 or 5 takes, scrapping each one, trying to focus on a topic. I had several in mind but the words just didn’t find their way to the mic, at least not the right ones.
So, I scrapped it. I took a deep breath, stretched and decided to embrace the “block.”
I’m in a block right now. I’m knee-deep in preparing my taxes, trying to find time (and audio space) to record an audiobook and get started on my next book. So, when it came time to record the podcast, I felt like I didn’t have enough “left in the tank,” so to speak, to be energetic and creative.
I decided it was time to embrace the block. This week, I share why being in a “block,” or hitting one, can be part of your content and message. It’s a normal part of any long-term journey, be it writing a book, a blog or a podcast.
The key is not to turn off the mic and risk never coming back. It’s to turn it on and talk about it.
This has helped me and I hit an interesting revelation. About a year and a half ago, when I finished the sloppy first draft of Making Fake Star Trek, I was feeling the “block.” I wasn’t sure if this thing would ever see the light of day.
Once Megan, our editor came on board, she shed some light on the story I was trying to tell. In her view, this book wasn’t about a Star Trek fan film or acting a Star Trek project. It was really about my journey, as an actor, and during that time in my life. This included the triumphs and the “blocks,” the frustrations and setbacks that I experienced in this journey. Once I embraced that, the book found its voice.
This was even more important for Making More Fake Star Trek, which is a lot more personal, even darker, than the first book. Without embracing “blocks,” I don’t think the books would be as meaningful.
Embracing your blocks
A block can feel like you’re hitting your head against the wall trying to be creative or productive. Or, it can feel like a haze. Below are some ways, I’m able to get reset and if not break, then embrace the block:
Take a break to walk, stretch, or get some fresh air.
Meditation (I like the Calm app for this).
Call a friend.
Listen to good music: as my life feels like it’s been an improvisation, I’ve been drawn to jazz, in particular John Coltrane.
Keep perspective: no matter your struggles or blocks, you have it better than so many in this world.
Once you embrace your blocks, you can find ways to make them part of your content and journey. It’s how we keep moving forward even when we don’t feel that we are.
What I’m reading / read
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason (***1/2): the classic book that uses Babylonian stories and parables to shed light on important financial concepts that are the bedrock to investing. Not the most riveting book structure or style-wise but the lessons are what make this a must read.
Books by John
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