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.