Sunday, May 17, 2009

The words hung in the air almost exactly the way a brick doesn't

with apologies to Douglas Adams

Lately I am having a hard time with that bane of any writer's existence, Writer's Block. I often write late at night or early in the morning after everyone else is asleep in my house. It helps me to concentrate and unplug, so I can say what I want to say. I know I can write, and I it is something I enjoy, almost all of the time.

Writing is usually easy for me, but lately it's getting cumbersome. Sometimes that doubt creeps in. Why am I doing this? Who is reading? What if I have nothing to say? Am I relevant?? I have been trying to figure out the writing process. I am probably thinking about it too hard, putting too much pressure on myself. (too bad there is no pill for "that certain part of the female creativity".. I could use that)

Maybe I am writing too much about autism elsewhere, and it's a buzz kill. I am coming up empty. It's like a gargantuan space, where creativity is supposed to be. To borrow a term from Star Trek and science, "a singularity".. a black hole that consumes all of my best ideas and writing. I don't know where it comes from or why. I just know it's like...

  • ...slogging through warm maple syrup, waist-deep, being chased by weasels (yeah, ok, they would probably drown, but go with me here)

  • ... a brick on the chest, that hurts to breathe

  • ...a fear of "Oh my God I have written my last funny/poignant/entertaining/informative piece....ever"

  • ...feeling like a fraud, every time you hit publish, because, what IF you shot the wad on that one, and there is nothing left. And WHY do people read, anyway when there are so many out there more talented than you are?

  • ...neglecting laundry, dishes, pets needing to be fed trying to get that elusive thought translated into you can breathe again.

  • ...every day, feeling a pressure to create, and if you cannot, the pressure increases until it feels like it will consume you.

  • ...staring at the flashing cursor and the blank window as you try to get something...anything, to fill that window so it doesn't look quite so ominous (yes, the cursor is mocking you: youcantwrite youcantwrite youcantwrite)

  • ...never feeling good enough...never translating it exactly the way it was in your head, groping for words and hoping people understand what you have to say and more importantly, care.

  • ...throwing yourself out there, every single day, hoping what you say means something to someone

  • labor..stalling and you aren't sure if you are ever going to have the baby and if you do...will it be healthy?

  • ...waking up in the middle of the night to write amazing ideas down, then having no idea what to do with them the next morning

  • ...trying too hard, too long.

  • ...comparing yourself to other writers you admire, and coming up short

  • ...every morning, praying you can write something and hoping like hell you won't let yourself down

  • ...needing to express yourself in order to get it unscrambled

  • ...talking about it, trying to break the power of the block

  • ...having no idea how to end this list...
  • .
  • you add one more item and hope it's enough

it has to be

T, who writes, or at least tries to

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4 sent chocolate:

Tony Letts said...

Stop beating yourself up Tina. I learned a lot from you. I learned that I write because I have no choice. I need to get it out of my head. If I found myself writing just because I felt I ought to I'd be worried. Do a post about that lovely bartender - that should get your mojo working!

Recent blog post: GRAND LARCENY

Leigh said...

I love the irony here. You have to know how perfect some of your descriptions are. I think my favorite is the maple syrup one. But I'm willing to bet every (serious) writer has felt just about everything on your list at least once.

Fwiw, I recently wrote an article about overcoming writer's block. Thought it might be a nice companion to your post:

MrsDesperate said...

Do you know what? It happens to everyone, even the most accomplished writers. I think it's part of the creative process ... keeps us on our toes to produce our best. I often find it's best just to take a deep breath, and just write. Or take a break for a while - a walk, a work-out, even a Nana Nap - and come back to it with fresh eyes.
Hope that helps!

Recent blog post: Beaches, burgers, and 'the Baconater'

Sandra said...

Amazing. I wrote exactly that this morning .... although all in my head. See; I had writers block.

Recent blog post: Wordless Wednesday ~ Finding Love In All The Wrong Places

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