As the pandemic comes to a close, it is easy to forget the struggles and hardships that came along with it. Stuck inside four walls with no inspiration besides the internet can become shackles to people’s creativity and mental health. Writer’s block and lack of motivation was a huge issue for a lot of writers. This epidemic hit published and amatuer writers alike, at Bookstr we know just how hard this issue can be.
To remedy this problem we interviewed author Pervis Taylor about his own experience through this difficult time. Taylor has published several well respected books, including Surthrival Mode, where he gives men a profound insight on navigating their emotions and dealing with past trauma. Surthrival Mode brings men one step closer to truly finding the meaning to their life, instead of hiding from it.
Being an award winning life coach and speaker to an extensive client list and audience, Pervis Taylor has a unique perspective in the case of writer’s block and mental health within the pandemic.
Taylor’s interview below will hopefully shed light on the inspiration that can come out of even the bleakest of times.
TELL ME ABOUT THE BOOKS YOU’VE WRITTEN AND WHY YOU CHOSE TO WRITE THEM?
Pervis: “My newest book, Surthrival Mode, I wrote for men – particularly men of color – to help them process and navigate through their emotions and mental health. The suicide rates pre-covid were alarming in general. Seventy percent of suicides were committed by men pre-covid. So, I wanted to write about that and bring light to it. I am currently writing a book for men as well. I write about this subject because I have been through so many things in my life as a man. I have dealt with molestation, having a father die of a heroin overdose, being emasculated, being bullied, all those things. So, I write about these important subjects because I don’t want another man to have to go through what I have been through. I know it is a large problem to take on but I feel that in writing these books I am contributing to the solution.”
HOW DID THE PANDEMIC AFFECT YOUR WRITING PROCESS?
Pervis: “At first it stifled it because I didn’t know what was going on. However, soon after I had this epiphany that just as life is happening around us, life also happens from us. That is what I always teach my clients, you don’t have to be subject to what is happening outside. You can still create, you can still be that voice. So, I decided to hop on instagram and start posting and that turned into a chapter and that turned into videos on TikTok. It was just a huge revelation that just because the world shut down didn’t mean I had to shut down with it.”
WHAT DID WRITER’S BLOCK FEEL LIKE TO YOU?
Pervis: “Writer’s block felt paralyzing because writing is the way I express myself. It is truly immobilizing, it makes you second guess yourself with questions like, ‘did I even write before this?’, ‘am I even this published author that people say that I am?’. You go through these bouts of imposter syndrome in some regards. It is very frightening to feel like that. However, after some time you start to realize that it is part of the process. Once you get over that hump you recognize that everyone from celebrities to regular people deal with a form of writer’s block. Once you realize that, it can bring you a sense of peace and comfort that you aren’t the only one going through it. After you get past that first mountain and you are coming down the other side of it, you get to see that it wasn’t the end of the world, just part of the process.”
HOW DID YOU GET THROUGH YOUR WRITER’S BLOCK?
Pervis: “I am a God-fearing man, I believe in prayer. So, I would sit in silence and meditation, and I would let the words come to me as opposed to me forcing it out because that kind of writing is the worst when you force the words out. It doesn’t flow because it isn’t really you. So, I really reconnected with my voice through silence. I let things come to me and I didn’t have shame in giving myself time, I actually felt more curious and more open because I really had no choice. I wanted to write and I wanted to get this book done. So, I truly just surrendered and really let it come to me.”
HOW DID YOUR MENTAL HEALTH FLUCTUATE DURING THE PANDEMIC? DID THIS HURT OR HELP YOUR WRITING?
Pervis: “At first I was a little bit on edge, I had some anxiety. Only because I didn’t know what was happening in the world at that time. For me, one of my self-care practices is bringing myself purpose. So, that means coaching and during the pandemic I was called upon so much with interviews and speaking with executives that my anxiety kind of dissipated because I was so busy and it made me see that I was needed. That actually helped me with the writing because it reminded me that I am the bomb.com! It really renewed a sense of confidence within myself. People have bouts with anxiety and depression in regular life but after that point where I started to become booked and busy it helped to cure those problems. Which really made me feel empowered, leading me to better myself with exercise, drinking water, praying, talking to my therapists, all the things that needed to be done for me to be my best self.”
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO NOVICE WRITERS WHO ARE HAVING THEIR OWN DIFFICULTIES WITH WRITER’S BLOCK?
Pervis: “One of the things I always say to writers who ask me this is: just write. Write without judgement, you write to find your voice. Don’t write because you are trying to get it right, write because you have something to say. And make sure you are clear on what you want to say. I think if you have that as a directive, the rest will flow in naturally. Be sure and certain with what you want to write about. What is your unique spin on it? What does your voice have to say? Make sure those things are in alignment and you will be good with whatever you write.”
Interviewing Pervis was a real pleasure and we hope these tips were helpful!