scribbling all over the walls

Yelling The “Writer’s Block” Away

I still feel like a little kid scribbling over the walls with crayon. You know how it is… you’ve got those little pudgy kid hands with your ham-fisted grip on your crayon and barely enough fine motor skills to smudge it across the walls.

And you’re just waiting for the fury to rain down from heaven.

To be told you’re doing it wrong. Or worse, you’re not supposed to be doing it at all.

Your parents will drag you away and scold you—the wall is not a place for coloring. Get back on paper. Stay within the lines.

Or you’re just waiting for Suzie Q from kindergarten with her improbably perfect pigtails to wrinkle up her nose and say that you’re no good at all. Not at drawing. Not at anything.

Does it ever get better?

I don’t know. Evidence suggests that, so far, it doesn’t. Sure, there are good days and bad days. Sometimes I feel a little more confident, sometimes I can say, “I think I’m onto something here.” But never, “I know.”

Maybe that’s how it should be.

Art is scary because there are no right answers. Art is wonderful because there are no right answers.

I’ve wasted a lot of time sitting around and not making art because I’m not good enough. Or no one will like it. Or it’s not the right kind of art.

You know how you get better at something? You do it.

How-to books and advice can help you, to an extent. But it’s really easy to sit around on your hands, pretending to be productive because you’re “not ready yet” and “just going to read one more book” or article or interview with your favorite influential whoever or [insert other excuse here that isn’t making something].

You’re not going to get it right on your first try, no matter how much you prepare.

But there is no right.

Sometimes that’s great, and sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it’s you that sucks.

Hey, that’s okay. I know—it sucks to suck. But you have to suck before you can get better. At some point you have to chuck caution out the window and put pen to paper.

After years of wringing my hands, saying “I’m not good enough,” and waiting for the fury to rain down from heaven, I’ve finally realized something.

The only thing stopping me is myself.

So: fuck that.

Time to stop talking about it and start doing it.

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