The Anatomy of Writer’s Block




If there is an over-used character trait of the artist, it would be the tortured soul aspect of the personalities that endeavor to write, paint, compose, act, or market brilliant ideas. This makes for compelling narratives — severing an ear, drinking absinthe to the point of early senility, or speedboating into a pier, make the artist and his process seem like a seductively lonely and arduous task, fraught with the crescendos of the best mix tapes ever made.

Stoking fictional embers is necessary to tell a story worth watching or reading, a story has to have a plot, but the creative process is very much an interior experience. One has to manifest the process with some kind of arcing outward event or flow chart. I struggle to concoct a way to explain my lack of productivity because it is a constant thought, without the constant churning of words on the page. In fact when you are not writing, you think about writing more. I still jot ideas in a notebook, or on a memo pad (on my phone), or even date a journal entry, but I have not kept my deal with myself to put up a post a week. I toy with the idea that a picture has to accompany a story, and so without a picture I have nothing to write, I have photo block, as well.

I’ve heard writers say that writer’s block doesn’t mean they don’t write, it’s that what they write isn’t any good. I don’t know if that is modesty or boasting. In my experience the instrument stays in the case, when the road blocks are up in my psyche. Even when you’re in a prolific period there can be varying degrees of quality.

Writer’s block is also an over-used premise to discuss, and posting this may be an exercise to jump-start my dormancy, but so what, part of the anatomy that shuts me down is the self-defeating talk in my head saying, “no one reads this shit, so why fret over a topic,” even if that is true, writing is a self-generated current and the presence of eyes on your words shouldn’t be why you torture yourself in the first place. At least that’s the mentally healthy way to look at it.

So as I force words, and force feed coffee, I think of the eyes out there that might be reading, that might have wondered where I’ve been, that hope I will return, who may have had a block of their own, and even if it’s four eyes, or six, or ten, or twelve, there is an exchange that has halted, and needs to flow again. If it’s all a tree falling in the forest (another over-used concept), ah well, at least I sat up and put something down on paper. All of you guys out there should too.

April 7, 2014 / Posted by admin / COMMENTS (0)

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