What Does Writer’s Block Feel Like?

{PROMPT: What does writer’s block feel like?}

Ugh.

I despise when writers write about writer’s block.

If you don’t have anything to write about,

you should just be quiet.

But here I am.

I have writer’s block,

And the only thing left to write about

Is the block itself.

HOW HORRIBLY CHEESY.

(And what’s worse is that I feel like

I have done this before.)

Writer’s block feels like

a severe restlessness.

You want to write.

You have the time.

You have the physical energy.

You have the motivation.

It’s just that there is

Nothing

In your soul.

It seems that photos of me writing do exist, proving that I have, indeed, been able to write things.

You test the waters multiple times a day.

You think,

“Maybe I could write about the time that I fixed the tap at work?”

No.

No one cares about that.

You think,

“Maybe I could write about my opinions and thoughts about this whole covid-19 deal?”

Nah.

Too dangerous.

You think,

“Maybe I could do a book review?”

Nah.

Book reviews are only one tiny step better than writing about writer’s block. They’re filler material. Everyone knows that.

You think,

“I could write a post all about Ricky in honour of his birthday.”

But no.

I write about Ricky all the time, and I don’t want people to feel like I’m shoving it in their face that I’m married to THE BEST PERSON IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD.  

(But you should know that he makes the best potato leek soup ever. And the best rice and beans.)

You think,

“Maybe I could write about how I feel about the Old Testament, and how it was NOT OKAY what happened to that concubine, and how God would NEVER ask someone to kill their own son, and how David sure was lucky that the Amalekites weren’t in the habit of killing all their conquests the way David did, because then David’s wives would have been TOAST before David could rescue them, and how I am very tired of everyone trying to turn these kinds of stories into neat and tidy affairs, and in fact, let’s just stop trying to turn God into a neat and tidy affair that we don’t need to feel uncomfortable about.”

Ummmmm….

Best to not get into all that stuff.

You think,

“Maybe I could write about this goal that I am working towards!”

But…

ALL I EVER DO ANYMORE IS WRITE ABOUT IS GOALS AND I DON’T WANT TO GIVE THE FALSE IMPRESSION THAT I AM OVER HERE ACHIEVING STUFF.

Sometimes a topic seems promising,

But upon further thought,

You realize that you only have like,

Two sentences

To say about that topic,

And two sentences does not a blog post make.

But the more you think about it,

The more it seems that every single topic out there could be

Reduced to two sentences.

HOW ARE PEOPLE WRITING ENTIRE BOOKS?

WHY ARE WE USING SO MANY WORDS?

HOW DOES ANYONE HAVE THE AUDACITY TO EVER SAY MORE THAN TWO SENTENCES ABOUT ANYTHING?

People,

We know next to nothing.

And in ten years,

We will simply know different nothings than we know now.

Now,

It is in times of writer’s block

That your writer friends will be producing particularly

Lovely, funny, poignant, meaningful, intelligent, well-reasoned, and well-researched writings,

And they will be doing it with astonishing regularity.

You will feel jealous.

It will be a little ugly.

If everyone could just stop being so successful, that’d be great! Thanks!

You will feel like you have no business

Sitting at the writing table with these

Wise and reasonable and hardworking humans.

Why even try?

You just turn these sorts of thoughts over and over in your mind,

And all your ideas seem smaller and emptier with each turn,

And you just feel like there is

Nothing

In you,

And you are fairly certain that there never will be anything in you

Ever

Again.

This is the end

Of you

As a writer.

You wonder if anyone would notice

If you just didn’t blog for a year

(or ten).

You tell yourself that a break is probably for the best.

You aren’t sure what your writing goals are, anyways, and

You could handle some time where you focus simply on

Living and learning,

Without experiencing that growth through the lens of

“How shall I write about this?”

You feel like you don’t quite know who

You are as a person.

If you can’t write…

Then…

Who even are you?

But even as you are deciding to give up on

Being any form of writer,

You still feel that burn,

That desire,

Inside you.

You are choosing to let go of this thing,

only to realize that

this thing won’t let go of you.

You still want to

Find the right words.

This is the vein

That runs through your whole being,

And you know

That will never change.

So you settle in.

You poke around in your soul a little more.

Maybe you find something in there,

Maybe you don’t.

Either is fine.

Carry on with life, and

Someday,

There will be something there

To write about.

(Probably.)

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4 Responses

  1. Love this line: “HOW DOES ANYONE HAVE THE AUDACITY TO EVER SAY MORE THAN TWO SENTENCES ABOUT ANYTHING?”
    Also, sometimes I write things I don’t publish, and then later (days, months, years) when words aren’t coming out, I look through the files and hit publish on something else. Also, it’s okay to take a break.
    Finally, for trying to write through writers block, you’ve got some bold and brave words above.

    1. The drama queen in me made an appearance, I guess, and had a few words to say. 🙂 Thanks for reading, Val! I’m sure that a writer such as yourself has some experience with overcoming writer’s block!

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