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Beaver Tales

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Creator’s Block

A reflective rant spun out of a case of writer’s block and a failed attempt at Nanofictionary
Rokas Aleliūnas


Reporter articles here at Beaver Tales are officially due Thursday morning. I’m writing this on Friday night, but I think that good has come of it. See, I had struggled all week to choose a topic for my article, I lost sleep over it. Thursday morning, in some last resort to find something to write about, I drew seven random cards from the Nanofictionary deck. Nanofictionary is a game where players form a story based on a simple prompt created by the cards they draw. I thought a long while about my story and eventually came up with this. 

James Watt, captain of Poseidon III, an infamous galactic gunship, along with his small crew kidnap Lawrence Buchanan, host of Night Owl Hour, the most watched late-night talk show in the Seven Stars. With the interdimensional doorway closing and in a fierce firefight with Mr. Buchanano’s pursuers, the pressure is high. James narrowly escapes on Poseidon III while the forested planet that housed the interdimensional doorway is destroyed in a raging inferno.

Sounds pretty awesome, right? Well, it wasn’t awesome, I just couldn’t write the darn thing to my standards. I hated how things were going. I had writer’s block and I had it bad. I was alarmed because usually when I put my fingers to the keyboard I spill out language with the speed of a supersonic jet. After reading my pitiful progress on bringing to life the story I had in mind, I felt a spark of creativity. I started writing without a second thought, this is what I wrote. 


What I wrote

Writer’s block. It’s something terrible everyone with a pen in their hand has dealt with at least once. That horrible feeling bubbles up within you when your hands hit the keys and nothing happens. You’re not alone. I have a pretty bad case of writer’s block right now as I type to you readers. Readers? How many of you are there? Probably not many, two or three I would guess. After all, who would want to read about kid who’s stuck in his over-pondering mind write about writing? To the two or three, thank you. 

My wise father told me something on one of our first gigs together that I’ll never forget. He said, “A small captive audience is better than no audience at all… just keep playing.” That day I played my saxophone for a barn full of generations-old nurserymen and landscapers. I think they hated it.

What do those nurserymen and landscapers have to do with what I want to convey to you? I learned something from those blank starring farmers. I learned that it doesn’t matter if anyone likes what you’re putting out or not, you just have to do it. There has to be something to write about in our brains at all times, I refuse to believe otherwise. Writer’s block isn’t even a real thing, we just aren’t writing about the right things at the right time because we’re too worried nobody, ourselves included, will enjoy it. I suppose in saying all this I ascend my topic, from just writer’s block, to the act of creation in general. The water is warm and beautiful, but the cliff is high. Still, we must jump to reach the waters we have dreamt of. 

I’m now going to call this thing I’m talking about creator’s block. I said previously, “Writer’s block isn’t even a real thing, we just aren’t writing about the right things at the right time because we’re too worried nobody, ourselves included, will enjoy it.” This might seem a little far flung to you, but I stand by it. When I say writer’s block, now creator’s block, isn’t a real thing, I don’t mean to shrug off our very real struggle. I’m finding through my own current creator’s block experience that there is always something to say or to make. The reason we don’t see the immediate and perpetual potential for wonder within ourselves is because we do not want to face judgment. We, as creators, are masters of quality control. We have standards that we dread falling short of. If we are not fearful of the judgment of others, even judgment we may never actually face, we are still fearful of completing something and judging ourselves at the end. 

Do you think God isn’t a little judgmental of himself over his creation? Well of course he’s not, he’s God. Be like God. I’m not saying disregard your own standards, I’m saying don’t let imperfection and fear stop you from making something brilliant. We have it within us to realize our vision, but we have to do something to get there. The next time you face creator’s block, try to remember me. Remember my rant, if not for my words then for my action. My action of facing my writer’s block and giving you this. Even if you don’t like it or think I’m an idiot, at least you read it. Congratulations, you’re the fourth person to read this article. 

In conclusion, I just want you, reader, creator, to share in my joy. I want you to be the best possible, most happy, most successful, most amazing and creative version of yourself you can be because that’s where I’m headed. I want my spark to spark something in you so that you can thrive on. In a world where there’s a wolf under every wool coat, I am a lamb you can trust. Remember my action, slay your creator’s block, leverage it into greatness. 


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About the Contributor
Joseph Johnston
Joseph Johnston, Reporter
Joseph Marion Johnston is a sophomore in high school who has just joined the newspaper staff. Joseph is passionate about music and clothing, he finds these things to be therapeutic, fun, and a great way to express himself. Life is about perpetual creativity for Joseph, and he vows to never stop doing the things he loves.