That time of the year is now. That post is this one.
Like a few of the other writers who have covered writer's block for this topic cycle on "Girlfriends Book Club," I have never truly come down with it. I have often really not wanted to write, but I have never been blocked per se.
Sadly, I always have something I could be writing, some story nagging at the back of my head, some voice just ridiculously insisting on being heard. This often makes life difficult. For example, I haven't taken a writing-free vacation since my very early twenties. I often have trouble paying attention when I'm supposed to, because I'm working out knotty story problems. Even when I'm in a rush, I'm subject to what I call "sudden toilet and shower thrall." This is when a story idea or plot point comes on so strong that it freezes you in place anywhere from five to twenty minutes while it downloads. Being a writer can get like stupid-weird.
So I say if you're able to not write for a long period of time, think about just going with it. You're lucky! I consider real writing passion more of an affliction than anything, mainly because I cannot stop writing. If I try, I get wildly depressed or completely despondent or ridiculously ragey or all three. In any case, it's not pretty. Like at all.
In fact, if I don't write for over 72 hours, I often find myself the subject of a gentle intervention from my husband. You know how some guys ask if their girlfriend or wife is on her period when she's being "crazy?" My husband says things like, "Hey, honey, when's the last time you wrote?" or "Do you think you might be feeling this way because you haven't been writing?" (Spoiler Alert: It almost always is.) Sometimes he volunteers to take care of our daughter while I go work on my book. And he even points out good places for me to write when we're on our family vacations.
"Just keep writing," he says when I call him in a frantic state, insisting that I can't do this anymore and that I'm going to get a cubicle job in marketing and leave this writing junk behind or better yet, fully dedicate myself to our daughter's upbringing. "You can't do that, honey. You'd go crazy and that wouldn't be good for you or her."
So here's what I think when I hear someone is suffering from writer's block. Good! Can you keep it going? Maybe get a regular job with regular hours that will be somewhat satisfying and that you can turn off when you're on the freaking toilet? If so, that's awesome.
And I'm so jealous.
However, if you're like me and your case of writer's block is sending you off the deep end, I'll co-sign on my husband's advice: Just keep writing. Yeah, seriously. Write poorly. Write blog posts. Write anything at all. Just keep writing. It might be the only thing that keeps you sane.
Photo Credit: photosteve101