Honesty, Writer’s Block

Ohmygod, writer’s block.

I’ve been sitting at my desk for twenty minutes, resting my chin on my coffee cup (back slumped in atrocious posture), breathing in the familiar roasty smell of java (taken black, always black), trying to find words to put out into the ether. This is my routine every morning.

Nothing comes. I eventually give up, go make my bed, and get on with my day.

Today I fight a little harder. I glance around my desk (as best as I can without moving my chin, because the warm steam from my coffee is comforting), trying to think. I used to have so many ideas! I used to be so full of cleverness and thoughtfulness and humor! Now I’m looking at my stapler wondering if I can simply describe it and call that good enough.

It’s black. And green. With a little silver. EVERYBODY GIVE IT UP FOR THE BEST BLOG POST EVER.

Ohmygod, writer’s block. It’s tragic.

It’s been months since I’ve had a thought that felt original. The world is a mess. The world is beautiful. And so many people are typing out their thoughts about this beautiful, messy world. I can’t seem to stitch three words together about it. I feel, to be sure. I feel sad, and awed, and frightened, and hopeful. We, as humanity, are lost; and yet, all hope is not lost.

I take a sip of my coffee. Ohmygod, writer’s block.

My kids are bustling downstairs, doing their chores and looking forward to their day. We’ll pop by and see their dad at work. We’ll deliver a freshly baked pecan pie to their papa. We’ll crash indoors through the hottest part of the day. We’ll go the pool in the late afternoon, and tonight we’ll celebrate the solstice by staying up as late as we want, reveling in the longest day under a full moon. We will be loud and wild and it will be a day to keep.

But in the back of my head, the whispers will be there: Writer’s block, writer’s block. I’m becoming paranoid.

Jesse’s story is nudging me away from the mesmerizing void of writer’s block (once you’ve encountered the block it will keep you in its thrall until your force your way back out), and I’m so grateful for her. But my confidence is shaken. Words have never come as easy to me as they do other writers I know (“The stories just tumble out of my brain!” they shout with glee. “If I don’t write it down the characters pester me until I do!”)–my stories require a lot of interior excavation, and even when I find what I’m looking for it doesn’t exactly cooperate. What if I don’t have what it takes anymore? What if I never did in the first place? What if I never catch up with my peers?

Well, hello there, fear. Nice to see you, pride. Blarg.

I just swallowed my last gulp of coffee. It’s time to get on with my day. Looks like I found words to put out into the ether after all, and although they maybe weren’t eloquent or original, at least they were honest.

Hm. Honesty. The cure for writer’s block? Maybe.

We shall see.

Loads of love,

teal

 

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7 thoughts on “Honesty, Writer’s Block

  1. Jennifer Lewis Oliver says:

    I am sending you hugs. Why? Because I’ve so been there! Ohmygod, writer’s block sucks.
    I was stuck in this wordless void for over a year. Seriously – over a year! No words. Nothing. Nada. When I was able to finally write, it came out more like I was in kindergarten learning how to spell words again. “D-O-G. Dog. Dog is furry. Dog barks loud.”
    I talked to a friend of mine about it, and I’m going to share with you what he said. He told me he thought I had perfection paralysis. That I was so worried and stressed about my writing, comparing myself to my peers, that I freaked myself out. That I was scared to write words because I wasn’t sure if they’d be good enough, if the story was good enough, if I could write as well as I used to, if I ever wrote well at all. So my need to be perfect caused me to compare myself with others, which then fed my self-doubt and caused me to freeze.
    I was like – YES! THIS! So how do I stop it???
    His answer? Write.
    Write like no one else is going to read it. Write even if it sucks. Because no one WILL read it, unless you let them. Because sucky writing can be edited to be AWESOME, but you can’t edit a blank page. And the last bit of advice he gave was to find an accountability partner, editor, someone who you HAVE to turn words into every day. Even if it’s 500 words, 100 words, or 50 words. Turn something into them every single day. Because then you have a pending deadline, and someone who will nag you for words if you’ve not turned them in.
    I know, it doesn’t sound fun at all. Your inner muse is horrified at the thought of doing it, begging you to not listen. But it seems like a way to break that block. If only to help you get back into putting words on the page. The more you work that muscle, the stronger it becomes.
    So, I’m going to try this method myself. I am determined to publish a book this year.
    I’ll let you know how it goes!
    And in the meantime – wine, chocolate and hugs work wonders. 🙂

    • Fantasy For the Rest of Us. says:

      Oh my gosh–DOG IS FURRY. DOG BARKS LOUD.

      This made me giggle so hard. ❤

      Thank you so much for your sweet words. While I'm not sure perfection is what's stopping the words–the fact that I published Shrilugh at all is testament to that!–I'm pretty much 100% certain the remedy is exactly as you prescribed. Just the act of writing spurs on more writing.

      I'm excited to see what you produce in the next year, lady! If you ever need a shoulder to lean on in the process, come find me. ❤

      Myn

  2. ianmathie says:

    OK, so write a story about Writer’s Block. If you’ve got it use it! You’ve made a good start here, but may I offer one small suggestion? Drink the darned coffee, don’t inhale it, then start typing.
    Oh, and turn the brain on first. That usually helps! 🙂 🙂

  3. Suzanne Lilly says:

    Ohmygod, woman, is this the first encounter you’ve had with writer’s block? You’re so prolific, I had no idea you’d be musing about writer’s block. And what a fine job you did. I totally understand how you feel about not having an original thought. But that’s probably just how you feel, and your thoughts are probably original to someone else. Someone like me. Who has STALLED in the writing these past few months. So just keep writing, my original and creative friend. Because you are just that.

  4. Elen Grey | Deep in B-ville Writing Over the Garage says:

    I feel ya, Myndi. Personally, I was really getting into that stapler thing you had going. You could probably turn that into a little flash fiction if you added maybe a 3-hole punch, some tension, a line or two of snappy dialogue, a nice hook and a twist at the end. Drop and give me 250 wc!

    Srsly, I feel ya. Just grind it out until you’re not grinding anymore.

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