Sometimes writing sucks.
I mean it. Sure there are times when the words are flowing like the wind beneath your wings, but then there are those other times…
Maybe your main character has painted himself into a corner and can’t get out without punching a huge plot hole into the wall of your story. Or maybe you get that “I’m a no good loser who’s never going to make something of himself in the world.”
Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve gotten to that point were your words taste like sawdust in your mouth and no matter how hard you try they won’t come out right.
In theory they should be fine words. They seem fine enough when you first think of them. But then, you try to put them down on paper and suddenly they’re all wrong. “Is this my writing?” you think. “Is this what it’s all come to? What is wrong with me?”
Or maybe this never happens to you at all. But it happens to me. Not frequently, but it does happen. It’s that wonderful little syndrome called writer’s block.
Writer’s block has something of a mythos about it. It’s so prevalent that even non-writers have heard of it, and speak of its gloom as if they had experienced it for themselves.
But we know the truth. It isn’t so much the terror of the blank page as it is the fear of the words themselves. We’re giving birth to a thought out of the darkest corners of our minds, and as we try to get the words out onto the paper we are gripped with the fear that our offspring will be stillborn.
Sometimes this problem has a physical root. I’ve noticed for instance that it’s nearly impossible for me to write if I’m very hungry. It’s not that I’m a glutton, but the simple fact is my brain needs the physical nutrients to work properly. Other times writer’s block can come out of a lack of sleep.
But sometimes it’s just there, like a heavy fog pressing down on our minds whenever we try to form thoughts into words.
But let me let you in on a little secret. Sometimes writer’s block is a trick, an illusion. It feels so real, I know. But it’s not.
I know because I had writers block this morning.
I sat down to write the blog post I had all planned out, and nothing was working. I really wanted to give up. I wanted to type, “Hey, guys can’t think of anything interesting to say today, so tune in tomorrow and see if it gets any better.”But then I asked myself, “What if I feel this way tomorrow or the next day, or the next one after that?”
I knew I had to make a stand. So I wrote. Starting with, “Sometimes writing sucks.”
And sometimes it really does. But I learned something valuable from Kristen Lamb a few weeks back. She said this: “Feelings lie.” Just two little words, and yet if we could learn to apply them, not only to writing, but to every area of our lives what a difference they could make. In its purest form writer’s block is nothing more than a feeling. And it lies every single time.
So when you’re looking at that blank screen and thinking all of your words sound like crap, sit down and write anyway. Don’t let your feelings dictate what kind of writer you’re going to be. Because you won’t always feel like a writer. But your feelings don’t define you. Your decisions define you. So when you don’t feel like writing, make the decision to write anyway.
When it’s all said and done, you’ll look back and wonder how you could have ever let a little thing like writer’s block stand in your way.