Writer’s Block

A confession: I have writers’ block. I have never had this before and I am unhappy.  I want to blame it on the weird weather. I rarely write in summer (a season that makes me itch), and fall/winter this year simply refuses to arrive. But, is that all?

In the past, I’ve told my students there’s no such thing as writer’s block; I’ve told them they just have to write whatever appears, even if it’s bad. I’ve said you have to keep writing, even when it’s impossible to do so.

I apologize. I think that may have been codswallop. Excuses. …….  Mostly.

I am still writing my 500-1,000 words a day, except that everything I’m writing is awful. It means nothing. It holds no truth that hasn’t already been revealed. The world has changed in ways that appall me and I don’t feel even moderately safe writing anything. I fear attacks on social media. I fear them not because my soul won’t survive such attacks, but because I don’t want MORE evidence humans are pretty awful.

Every morning I get up and I believe I will get to the page today and have a breakthrough in the novel I’m working on. Shower. Tea. Office. And then…. silence.

I have a dear friend, Sister Rita, who has talked to me about the silence of God, and how this is the most terrifying, anguished condition. Writer’s block is another way this manifests. As a writer, I am a person of faith — not traditional religion, perhaps, but faith nonetheless. And not to be able to write feels as though I am cut off from the Sacred. It’s agony.

This is not the moment to cheerlead and tell you all about the various methods one can use to overcome writer’s block since I haven’t actually found one that works. Just know that there is another writer out there who is feeling what you may be feeling, but who still keeps faith with the God/Goddess of literature.

All I can offer, even to myself, is the penultimate quote: This, too, shall pass.

If you’re suffering from this affliction too… well, you’re not alone.

 

8 Comments

  1. rita woehlcke on October 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    “I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
    T.S. Eliot

    We are living The Second Coming
    By William Butler Yeats
    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    and

    All shall be well all of these true at the same time in us and around us.

    • Lauren B. Davis on October 3, 2018 at 5:35 pm

      My Soul Friend, my Aman Cara. Thank you, Sister Rita!

  2. Ron Davis on October 3, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Lauren, I have faith in you, and that you will regain the inspiration and find the words, in the right order. Love, Ron

    • Lauren B. Davis on October 3, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      My love.

  3. Madeleine D’Arcy on October 3, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Dear Lauren, I totally sympathize and empathize with you. The world seems unsafe right now. One wonders what value there is in writing fiction unless it’s in some way meaningful. But sometimes we forget the magic of reading as we did when we were young, and how powerful that experience is, and how reading a book that has ‘heart’ really moved us and
    helped us to understand the world better. You have wrought this magic many times so be patient because you will do it again. Also, of course, you have a new book out which I’m looking forward to reading, so surely you deserve some time off! You will be fine – absolutely fine – and the magic has not left you. Enjoy yourself, take a break – you deserve it – and be good to yourself. Oh, and plan a trip to Cork!!! Much love from your Irish ‘cuz’ xxx Madeleine.

    • Lauren B. Davis on October 3, 2018 at 6:53 pm

      Love you, Madeleine. Thank you.

  4. Deborah Roggie on October 5, 2018 at 12:25 am

    Dear Lauren,

    I know how you feel. The fallow periods are difficult. Hoping that it’s just part of the process and will resolve itself doesn’t make it any easier.

    I hope you find your way back soon.

    • Lauren B. Davis on October 5, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks, Deborah. I feel it opening up again… Fingers crossed!

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