I was asked to write and share a spoken word piece at a gathering tonight. I spent a good number of hours over the course of two weeks working on the piece with very little success. This sort of bothered me, because usually, lyrics for work like this tend to pour out pretty easily.
I don't think you could call it writer's block, because I had written down a bunch of ideas, but just didn't feel like any of them really resonated or stuck. So really, it was sort of like the diet version of writer's block. And it lasted for about two weeks. Then fast forward to last night.
It was late and I was talking to Jayne—my fiancee—on the phone. We were talking about how our days went, when all of a sudden she went off on a tangent and started talking about glaciers and how cool they look underneath the water. Glaciers? I said. Why are you talking about glaciers? Because they're mind blowing. She said. And they are. They really are.
After talking about glaciers, her emailing me photos of glaciers with hilarious subject lines, and us saying the concluding farewells people usually do when they conclude a phone conversation, I went to sleep—or at least I tried to.
Because next thing you know, beautiful lyrics start popping into my mind. About glaciers. So I turned my light on, leaped out of bed, and furiously scribbled words down into my journal. And when I finished, there it was: the spoken word piece. About glaciers.
Sometimes when we're stuck creatively, all we need to do is phone a friend, take a friend for coffee, meet up with a friend at the park, and talk. Just talk. With no agenda. You'll be surprised at what creative blocks become unblocked when you do.