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,
L.A
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2 Comments

  1. kirsty carter

    Just remember everything has its ups and downs, their light and their dark. Take the ocean its the most beautiful and peaceful place but its also very hash and dangerous place aswell. With the colours of multitudes of blues and greens with the most amazing sealife to the blackest parts where blood of fish and hunters live and pray. Don’t think you’ve failed cause you have a block everyone has a block but think of things that are simple but amazing at the same time.

    Like

    • Thanks kirsty. That’s beautiful way to look at it. I will definitely keep my eyes on the amazingly simple stuff.

      Like

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