Writer's Block

Apr 25 2018

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Grayson Perry's Lessons in Creativity @scriberian

Inner Academic: When am I going to get time to write? When am I going to get time to write? When am I going to get time to write?

Inner Facilitator: How about now? Here's a whole, clear week I've put aside for you in the diary.

Inner Academic: Ah, but I'm really tired right now.

Inner Facilitator: OK, I see that, why don't you have a little rest and come back to it tomorrow?

Inner Critic: Ha ha, this is what happened yesterday, and the day before. Nobody's writing anything this week! Ha ha!

Inner Facilitator: Hey, shhh, rest is a really important part of the creative process.

Inner Critic: Yeah? And so is ACTUALLY FUCKING CREATING STUFF. Look at Grayson Perry's advice up there. "Put the hours in."

Inner Facilitator: I hear you, but look at the Academic, she's so very, very tired. She's been taking in so much for so long.

Inner Critic: Is that why you think she's tired? No, she's tired because [sung like a football chant] she's shit and she knows she is, she's shit and she knows she is, she's shit and she knows she is and she's avoiding the inevitable disappointment of failure by not even starting.

Inner Facilitator: I'm not sure you are really helping matters.

Inner Academic: I'm just off for a lie-down, back in a bit.

Inner Facilitator: I need some help with this, who can I call? Oh yes, Healthy Grounded. Healthy Grounded! Are you here?

Healthy Grounded: Sorry, I was listening, just having a little competition with Unhealthy-Ungrounded.

Unhealthy Ungrounded: Oi, get back here and show me how much chocolate you can ram into your gob.

Healthy Grounded: Sorry mate, I'm needed elsewhere.

Unhealthy Ungrounded: Well fuck you, I'll find someone else to play with. Academic! Wake up! Fancy a coffee?

Inner Academic: What? Coffee? Well I guess it might perk me up, OK then.

Unhealthy Ungrounded: Yeah! Lets have a massive fucking coffee and half a packet of biscuits and maybe a little tequila...

Healthy Grounded: Woah, woah woah! Guys, getting high never really worked for us, remember?

Unhealthy Ungrounded: What do you mean? Getting high has always worked for me! It's fun, everything gets faster and weirder, I get faster and weirder, what's not to like about faster and weirder?

Healthy Grounded: It's not particularly productive. Holly's actually got a book to write and getting high is not going to help.

Unhealthy Ungrounded: Boring! Boring! Boring! Who reads books anyway? Boring people! Fuck boring, let's party!

Inner Critic: What a marvellous idea! I'll come!

Healthy Grounded: OK guys, enough! We need to work together on this. Holly wants to write a book and we need to help her. Unhealthy Ungrounded, I recognise your need for adventure and Inner Critic, I see your desire to keep Holly safe. But here's the thing, Unhealthy Ungrounded, Holly's adventure right now is to write a book about Mindful Play, and for that she needs to stay healthy. Inner Critic, in writing a book, she will be putting herself out there, but that's what she wants to do. We can't keep her totally safe from external criticism- not everyone is going to like the book, some people are going to absolutely hate it, but it's a risk she needs to take to reach the people who are going to love it. Like Grayson says, the aim of the game is to "Be like a prized local cheese." Can you please both get behind me on this and support Holly to be like a prized local cheese?

Inner Critic: But what if it's totally shit cheese?

Healthy Grounded: It will be for a while, then she'll find a publisher and an editor and they'll support her to make it good cheese, but it needs to be shit cheese for a while first.

Inner Critic: But the shit cheese is not going to get published?

Healthy Grounded: No, the shit cheese is just part of the process.

Unhealthy Ungrounded: Boring! Process Schmocess, lets live our lives right now, go out into the sunshine and say yes to everything fun that comes our way!

Healthy Grounded: We just did a bit of that, remember, we walked along the river with Liz?

Unhealthy Ungrounded: Yeah, I s'pose, but we didn't take any drugs!

Healthy Grounded: No we didn't, because we stopped doing that years ago, remember?

Unhealthy Ungrounded: Never too late to start again! Yeah drugs by the river!

Healthy Grounded: We've talked about this. I know you like life to be slightly off kilter and out of control, but the thing is – it already is. None of us were ever the masters of being alive and we're definitely not now. We're learning to live with the discomfort of not knowing, we're embracing the unresolvable and sitting with emptiness- all the things you were seeking in your teens and 20's through drugs and booze and sugar and risk.

Unhealthy Ungrounded: Ah, well thank you, when you put it like that, I somehow find myself feeling respect for you.

Healthy Grounded: Thanks Unhealthy Ungrounded, I respect you too. You were the trailblazer who showed me the way but listen, before this all turns into Disney shmultz, I need to say one thing; we're all in this together. Project Holly is a collaboration between all of us and many, many others, we've got to keep finding ways to work together to support Holly.

Inner Academic: Hahhh, I suddenly feel the urge to write a bit now. Set me up a nice, clean document, I'm ready to begin!

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