Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Reading a Spread: Writers' Block

I'd been doing a lot of writing over the past couple months. It is a great way for me to process my fears and nervous energy; plus, I tend to feel refreshed after a good hour or two of writing. It was frustrating, then, to come up on pretty intense writer's block about two weeks ago. Realizing that this was a good issue to bring to the cards, I developed the spread below.  


CARD 1: The querent

Well, that was straightforward.  Justice is the corresponding card to my zodiac sign, so I sometimes read it as a stand-in for me anyway. The card also refers to justice in a literal sense, and things being balanced and right in the world. I definitely write to gain a sense of internal balance, so this card makes sense.

CARD 2: Previous motivation

Lots of balance imagery so far!  The two of swords can mean that you're stuck, but it can also mean you are at peace.  A lot of my motivation for starting creative writing again was to regain a sense of internal balance (which we saw in Card 1 with Justice).  Even though it was a good reason to start writing, will it be enough motivation to keep me going?

CARD 3: The block

And the balance imagery won't stop.  Temperance is about being balanced, even-keeled, and capable of compromise. It's interesting to me that balance plays a role both in my previous motivation and my current writer's block.  It seems like seeking emotional balance, while a useful initial motivator, no longer serves to keep me writing.

CARD 4: How to shift your energy

The page of cups may be one of the friendliest cards in the deck.  He's a bit goofy, holding a fish in his goblet.  He trusts that his emotions are valid and doesn't second-guess them (making him a bit naive at times).  Instead of bringing a balance-seeking energy to my writing, I need to shift to a more joyful, bubbly embrace of all the emotions that surface when writing--even the more extreme ones.

CARD 5: The next step

The king of pentacles is here to give me some real talk. He's all about hard work and reasonable expectations.  He reminds me not to set my goals too high (I can totally finish this novel in the next two weeks, right?!), and to keep at it a little bit each day, even if it's not exciting or fun all the time.

CARD 6: Possible outcome

I really had to think about the two of cups here.  This is a card that usually signifies close relationships.  It seems that, if I can bring joyful energy to my writing while still giving it some practical, down-to-earth committment, I will develop an affectionate relationship with writing. This card challenges me to think about writing less as a chore or responsibility, but more as a valuable friendship. You stick with it through thick and thin, and being authentic with your friends brings you closer.  A similar relationship can develop between the author and her work.


What do you do when you feel stuck in your creative work? Would you use this spread for writer's block? Could you see this spread--or one like it--working for other types of art? Give us your thoughts in comments!

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