Blockage Part 3

Blockage, Take 3

Two weeks ago I wrote the first thing I’d written since before Christmas.  Today I sat down and started working on the stories I started back in November.  The interim has been a terrifying time.

For five years I was driven by a passion for writing.  I wrote every day, getting up early and planning my days off to make sure I had writing time scheduled.  And when I say early, I mean five o’clock early, which for me is remarkable since I seem to arise at seven o’clock naturally.

Then, one day in December, I didn’t write.  And the next day I didn’t write.  Didn’t even have a desire to do.  I just didn’t care.

It’s been four and a half months of not caring.  I didn’t have an episode when I wanted to write and couldn’t for whatever reason, I just didn’t want to write at all.  It was more compelling to me to watch YouTube videos about my hobby than it was to write (which doesn’t count as my hobby).

During that time I’ve been “off” in other ways as well.  I’ve been more easily distracted in general, less focused on my work, and less attentive to things like housekeeping and gardening.  Is it all related?  I think so.  It’s my supposition that when a writer isn’t writing, when a writer is truly blocked, as they say, that it manifests itself in other ways as well.

I looked on Amazon to see if I could find books about writer’s block.  Now, when I say looked, I mean that I typed in “writers block” as my search term and scrolled through the results.  I found several books about getting around writers block, a few using that as their title, and one book that purports to use “brain science” to get around writer’s block.  Since I was looking for a book about the causes of writers block, this seems the most promising of the titles offered.  If I get the time I think I’ll read this book and post a review of it at some point in the future.

Have I missed writing?  Yes and no.  Maybe I just needed to recharge my creative batteries, so to speak, but it’s not like I woke up every morning and said, “Today I’m going to write” and then couldn’t.  I tended to do with writing what I do with working out – it’s a cute idea but that’s about it.  Not like the “before times” when I HAD to write or I would get the jitters.  I can’t describe, really, the feeling of not wanting to do something that consumed me for so long, because it wasn’t a feeling at all, it was a lack of feeling.  That was the scariest part of all.  For a long time I’ve wondered if I would ever write again – and was pretty blase about the outcome!!

But the feeling is coming back.  Like I wrote earlier, I figuratively dusted off two of the works I’d been working on prior to this strange episode.  I went back over the critiques people left me about them and sighed.  I have some major editing to do.  But I’m wanting to do the editing.  And that’s a huge step forward.

Changing gears, have you read the latest issue of Pilcrow and Dagger?  If not, you should seriously think about it.  Another great issue!!  Thanks to everyone involved in the making of it.  And, as I always say, life is short, read fast.

1 Comment

  1. Sonia G. Medeiros

    I’ve been there before. It sucks. I remember many years ago, I felt like I HAD to write. Then, life intervened and I lost that sense of urgency and desire. A few years ago, I started writing again and felt that wonderful flood of creativity. I had all sorts of ideas for short stories, flash fiction and novels. Then I started writing a novel and choked a little. For the last couple years, I’ve been very slow about the whole business.

    I’m not totally sure about what turns the spigot on and off. My creative flow seems pretty sensitive to how in touch I am with my “inner world.” If there’s a lot going on in my outer world, it’s harder for me to find my way in. I can still write, but it’s much more work. Of course, the more I write, the easier it is to find the window.

    Recently, I took up the cello. It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to play both the piano and cello. I started piano about 2.5 years ago and liked it well enough. Then I had the opportunity to take cello lessons. Less than a month into the whole thing and my daughter and cello teacher convinced me to join a strings camp this summer that will culminate in a concert. I had 8 weeks to learn 10 songs (and I could barely even find the notes on the fingerboard at that point) before the week long camp.

    I started practicing 2 hours a day and something weird happend. I got better at the cello very quickly (not the weird part LOL) and my creative flow opened wide up. The more I connected with the music and my instrument, the more I felt creative all over. I think doing something new that is both creative and difficult but doesn’t require ME to create anything new (such as composing a piece of music or anything like that), has opened that inner world door…or just started working out parts of my brain that were weak.

    Anyway, if you have the chance to try something like that (music lessons, dancing, painting,etc.), I’d say give it a try. It might shake loose your block. If not, at least you’ve learned something new. 🙂

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