Writer’s block is a lot like constipation. You know it’s in there; you just have to get it out somehow. And you know you will feel so much better when you do.
There is nothing quite like writer’s block (except, of course, for the tasteless comparison I just made) to frustrate the heck out of you. You know the words are in there. You know you could write something really great if only you could get past the block. You sit down to write and … nothing. A few words pop up on the monitor mostly by accident and they seem to mean nothing, go nowhere, and make little sense. If you were writing on an old-fashioned typewriter, the floor around you would be full of crumpled sheets of paper to the delight of your cat.
If the block goes on too long, you begin to doubt yourself and your ability to write. It seems to be harder and harder just to get started. You have the thought that everything you’ve written previously is cow flop. You start thinking that maybe you need some sort of intervention; a wordaxative, if you will. A verbenema.
I’ve been blocked for quite a while … the writerly way … come on now. And I have to tell you it isn’t much fun. On the up side, I’ve gotten a lot of other things done. My husband is happy for that, less for him to do. Though he’s not the sort that thinks all the house and yard work is his wife’s responsibility. And yes, I know how wonderful that is.
This block has gone on for several weeks now, but I am happy, relieved even, to say that last night at about 10:00 p.m., it officially ended. Knock on wood. No sooner did my head hit the pillow, but all sorts of words just started coming into my mind. Chapter titles, little teasers, whole paragraphs. It was a glorious rush of words and not much sleeping. Somewhere around one o’clock, I did fall asleep, though.
I woke up early, walked the dog (the feels-like temperature was 13 degrees Fahrenheit because of the wind; that really woke me up) had breakfast and sat down to the computer and (I know what you’re thinking, but no) the words just flew onto the monitor. But, dang, I wasn’t working on my book. I was writing a post about writer’s block. But all those chapter titles and words are still in there. They (those people who seem to know everything about everything) say that writing anything is better than writing nothing. And I guess sometimes that’s all you need in order to get yourself unstuck. Blogging just might be the best thing for that.
If it was your expectation to learn how you too might get past writer’s block, well what can I say? Except thanks for stopping by. And maybe just write. Write anything. Write nonsense. Type out swear words. Describe as eloquently as you can that pen that is on the desk in front of you. Or that dirty, smudgy, favorite eraser you’ve had for what seems like ten years that just sits there patiently waiting to be of service and never criticizes your mistakes. Just write.
Now, let’s see if this has been enough to get me working on my novel.