My taboo – my writer’s block
It has been a little while since my last post – I had told myself I’d write something every day or two, but alas time gets away from me. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. I say “I’ve been busy this weekend, so I haven’t really had a chance to sit down and write a post.” It’s not true. My weekend was pretty cruisy.
For some reason I feel like the real reason I haven’t written anything is a little taboo. I’m not sure where that idea came from, but it’s been dogging me for a while now. I have writer’s block. I have had it for a very long time. I feel like admitting I have writer’s block means that I’ve failed – I’m not a real writer at all if I can’t write anything. I wonder if anyone else has the same thought about it. My mind imagines critics snorting in derision – “No, they can’t be called a writer. They have writer’s block. Not okay.” It’s illogical considering some of the best minds in literary history have suffered this too. My mind has never been logical… don’t forget I’m a little unhinged.
What happens to me is I sit down to write something, and nothing will come out. I try to continue a story I already have the opening paragraph to, and after re-reading it to get my head into the story, I’m done with that writing session and I want to move on.
Maybe writing about the fact that I can’t write anything will help open my mind back up again.
After a little more thinking on the subject, I’ve decided there are different types of writer’s block. I have a few different types, though they all ultimately lead to the same thing – a lack of words.
On some occasions, I open up the post/document/bit of paper I’m intending on writing in/on, and if there is something already there that I started (an intro paragraph, notes, half a book that needs finishing) I just read it. And then the urge to do anything more is completely gone. A day has gone by between this paragraph and the one just above it simply because I would re-read the parts I’d already written, then be utterly uninspired to finish what I’d started. I sometimes open a short story that I’ve started, read it, then decide I have no real idea where the story is going. I started writing not knowing where it was going to end up (not always a bad thing, not always a good thing), and now I can’t finish it. I open the random notebook where I’ve got the most recent chapter of my crappy first draft of a book written down, read the part I’m up to, and not want to write more. I just don’t. It doesn’t help that it’s a terribly sad and difficult section that I always knew would take a while, but I can’t get through it. I can’t do it. I can’t. And those are the words that haunt me.
On other occasions, I have ideas going on in my head that need writing out so they can stop cluttering my mind and actually begin to take form. I write out the topic or title, then get stuck. Through all the swirling in my head, I can’t pin down my actual thoughts about the topic, thus I lose the ability to write anything about it. For ideas that have been in the back of my mind for a long, long time, they come out easily because they’ve been cooking for a long time, but newer ideas get me stuck. I used to be able to write through an idea until things started making sense. Now I can’t write through it at all. I can’t. And those are the words that haunt me.
Other times I just have no idea what to even start writing. I see a writer’s competition or some such that I really aught to enter, I decide I’ll write something new for it (not just one of my random things I’ve had half-brewed forever), and no ideas come out. The blank page mocks me. I can’t even pick a theme or a setting or a character (I figure out my characters pretty quickly… usually). I can’t pick anything. I can’t. And those are the words that haunt me.
I have to write for work. I can write for work – I can write about things I’ve never heard of before, I can write things that hit the brief exactly, and I can write things that are ultimately successful, but when I come home the flow stops. Nothing else comes out. I can come up with the goods when it’s necessary, but I can’t create for myself. I can’t. And those are the words that haunt me.
Why can’t I?
That is yet to be determined.
The rest of my story is yet to be written, thus I do not yet have the answers. I’m hoping getting this out breaks my taboo and pushes me in the right direction. This is temporary, and I’m not a failure.
I can’t right now.
Until next time,