The Story of Your Life

One of the many paradoxical sayings of Field theory is, "Nothing is what it's about." There's a basis for the paradoxical formulation of this principle, but essentially it expresses the idea that everything in the world is a metaphor constructed by a corresponding state in the consciousness of the beholder or experiencer. So, for practical purposes, it may be useful to subtract the element of paradox, so we have, "Nothing is what it seems to be about." If students understood and worked with this one facet of conscious creating, they would realize tremendous benefits: more energy, a clearer sense of direction, freedom from confusion over decisions, and much more. How can we apply this idea?

Students of writing courses in college, always wonder how to deal with so-called writer's block. We suggest that writer's block is not about writing at all. Seeming blocks in the creative flow are like messengers trying to get the student's attention, because we can only write creatively from our experience, and if we are blocking our experience in any way, it won't be surprising that this shows up in our ability to express and create. We ask students to look away from writing and toward the larger context of their life. Then, they are to see if they can identify any situation they were currently living with in which they have the same sort of feeling that they had when they tried to write and find themselves blocked. Not insignificantly, different students experience writer's block differently; some can't get started, others can't sustain the writing, still others can't find an ending. Some have no ideas, others have so many that they can't establish a direction for their narrative.

In every case, students who are experiencing writer's block and do this exercise find that there is a readily identifiable situation going on in their life in which they have exactly the same feeling of being blocked or stuck. Further, and again in every case, sitting still and looking this situation squarely in the eye always produces a clear call to take some next step that they have been putting off, ignoring, even denying. Further, this step invariably involves starting, sustaining, finishing something in short, the elements of good writing. As soon as they accept responsibility for whatever the next step requires, they find that their creative juices are flowing, and they can write with renewed passion, clarity, and direction. The writer's block isn't about writing. "Nothing is what it"s about." Look upon whatever has you feeling stuck as a call to the next better version of your life, admit and live up to the truth of it, and something remarkable will come out of the situation to set you free.

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