Beating Creative Business Block: Part One: O Sorrow and Shame
Are you suffering from creative business block?
Wherever block presents itself, it always feels the same. One of the most famous descriptions of creative block was given by the the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the day after his thirty-second birthday, in October 1804.
“So completely has a whole year passed, with scarcely the fruits of a month,” he wailed to his notebook. “O Sorrow and Shame … I have done nothing!”
Alas, it was true. After a period of flow in his twenties, which produced unforgettable poems like “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan,” Coleridge was, by this time, in the grip of what he called “an indefinite, indescribable Terror.”
When a friend tried to get him to rouse himself, the poet gave his famous description of the psychic helplessness of the blocked creative: “Go, bid a man paralytic in both arms rub them briskly together, and that will cure him. Alas! he would reply: that I cannot move my arms is my complaint.”
Creative Business Block
Thanks to the daily self-flagellation poured out by procrastinating writers all over the internet, even those who have never written a professional word know all about writer’s block. It is, however, much less understood that the dynamics of creative block are always the same, no matter what we’re creating.
Including a creative business.
Stumbling, resisting, wavering, producing little of value that we can see, we feel low and we lack energy; we are as disillusioned, disappointed, and despairing as the poet. And we feel just as helpless.
Over the coming days, I’m going to be running a series on business block, where it comes from, the forms it takes and how it is dissolved.
Beating Creative Business Block Series