Stiletto Gang Blog August 2020 – Lesson from Bon Jovi: “Do What You Can”

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When I give presentations on writing, I’m often asked if I’ve experienced writer’s block – a slowdown of creativity or the inability to create a new work.

When my creativity slows, I turn to researching topics I’m writing about and that attracts my creative angels again. But I’ve heard stories of how dreadful writer’s block can be. Truman Capote spent the last ten years of his life speaking about the masterpiece he was writing, a work that never materialized and possibly caused the stress that triggered his nervous breakdown. How sad is that?

On the other hand, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, often spoke of his inability to progress on “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” He gave up and drove his family from Mexico City, where they were living, to the seaside resort of Acapulco for vacation. They were just arriving at the bay of Acapulco when he stopped the car and turned around, explaining to his wife that he now clearly saw the premise for “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” Skipping vacation, he drove back to Mexico City, sat at his typewriter, and banged out his masterpiece, the novel which undoubtedly won the Nobel Prize in literature for him.

So what happens when a writer hits a wall?

Recent news about a song in the upcoming album.

When Bon Jovi’s tour was cancelled due to COVID-19, he didn’t just stay home and fret. No, he stepped in as dishwasher at his JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey – a restaurant he established years ago which often provides food to those in need.

An Instagram posting showing him washing dishes, stated “When you can’t do what you do, then do what you can.” That inspired him to create the song “Do What You Can.”

The lesson in Bon Jovi’s action is to turn disappointment around when facing adversity. If it’s writer’s block or any type of setback, flip it over by doing what you can, rather than forcing yourself to do what you normally do. Until inspiration hits again!

If I experience writer’s block and turn to dish washing, I think my creativity would return very quickly!

Ever had writer’s block? How did you overcome it?