What is it?
Many famous Authors, as well as many thousands of unknown wannabe Authors (like me) will describe what it is to them, and, or, what it is not. Each has their own version of what it is, but in the end, it’s manifestation has the same outcome for all.
For me, “writers block” has taken the form (this time) of an inability to even open the word processor. I can’t even bring myself to a level of discipline wherein I trick myself into believing that I’m going to write today and at least open the word processor I use… I already know I’m a liar, and won’t write anything even if I do.
I “WANT” to write; I just can’t bear to sit down and actually do it.
Why? I love it!
And therein, I believe, I finally see the illusory answer that I have been searching for in order to overcome this problem…
I have it by the truck loads in many other areas of my life… So why not with similar regard to my writing? For many people it can be the woes and struggles of life; Yea, that factors in…
For me, it was; Fear of Failure.
We all have an innate fear-of-failure I guess, but it only manifests itself (I imagine) when we are faced with completing something we are truly serious about completing, or obtaining, or which is extremely important to us…
Although I have been unable to bring myself to sitting and writing this past month, I have been reading. I’ve been reading about other writers who can’t write either… Strange huh?
But you see, I KNOW EXACTLY when I stopped writing… AND I know WHY I stopped…. and THAT’s the annoying part for me.
For years, I had my main story swirling around my head, putting parts of it on paper, threatening all those years to actually write it ALL down and get published.
So I finally man-ed up (is that actually a real word?), and started doing just that. Every day I sat and wrote; and it was coming together nicely… well… all the parts that I had already devised were coming together nicely. My problem lay in how to tie all these discordant pieces together, explain WHY these characters were actually doing what they were doing, and then imagining an ending. See, I was enjoying seeing the story unfolding by itself, I was not guiding it, but simply capturing it as it told itself, flowing through natural revelations of the plot incidents and character needs. Fun yes, as opposed to building a framework first… but after decades of spinning this story in my head, it finally took its toll, and left me spinning my wheels when the natural connections, the “why’s”, “where’s”, “when’s”, and “how’s” of the plots, simply weren’t coming any more.
This is, of course, every writers dilemma, mine is no different; but, I surmise, my ensuing “block” perhaps is.
For as I sat drinking spiced Indian tea one night at a friends house, ALL of my thoughts about ties, plot linkages, reasons, AND endings, came flowing out faster than I could write them down in the notepad that is my constant companion, ready for moments just like that.
I wrote furiously as each plot played out in my mind, inexplicably tying itself to the others in my story, ALL without my conscious participation (other than jotting down the points in the notepad), and after almost 3 hours of scribbling, I had it all sketched down in point form… in fact… I had enough details and plot intricacies (which simply emerged in a natural manner or progression from the plotlines) to make my story into what appears to be a trilogy, all intricately woven into this first book (or, all ego aside, so I think at this time).
All I then had to do was transfer my points from paper and lead into my word processor, fill in the space of each scene, and voila’, first draft complete.
Or so I thought…
It was at this point in time that the realization of the extremely high possibility of the failure of a life long dream kicked in… What if I put it all together and it bombed?
That did it… my eagerness to finish this project rapidly fell away, much as a piece of driftwood floating over the edge of Niagara Falls (it can’t fail if I don’t finish it right?)… and with that little bit of self-propagated negative “encouragement” (Fear of Failure) it opened the door for me to wallow in self-pity over said (yet presumed) failure, as well as then letting life issues drive a deeper wedge into my creative side. It became dark, with a lot of self-loathing over my self-imposed “writers-block”.
I’ve now come to realize that all the wood that flows over the edge of the Falls, can be later collected downstream, and re-used again, and also that all of life’s issues have resolutions, life will go on.
This post represents my re-attachment to my writing, as I rest my trusty notepad beside me on the arm of my favorite lazy-boy chair, ready to be transcribed to this laptop.
Is my struggle with “writers-block” over? I hope so, for now at least…
Oh! Did I mention that some famous writers suggested that there was no such thing as writers block, but just undisciplined writers?
Hmmm…. Being famous doesn’t necessarily make one smarter than others… but for now, I’ll try it their way….