Isn’t it odd when things other than our words take precedent?
I see so many articles on the internet with tips on how to overcome writers block, and writer-splaining why it’s important to take breaks in order to refresh our stream of inspiration, and to be honest, I devour them because I relate entirely. But it is also confusing to me at how common this experience is among writers. I mean, our words are our souls, and yet we stop writing.
It is as if we write in waves. Perhaps we are unwittingly controlled by the moon. Or maybe, when the wind is in the East, and the stars are aligned just right behind the sun… we write. For a writer is a romantic existence, and perhaps writers block is simply part of the façade.
When I take “breaks” from writing, all I am really doing is sitting on the couch watching Classic Doctor Who episodes and binging on the Cheeze-its I promised my fiancé I wouldn’t eat… but it is much more romantic to say that I have writers block, isn’t it?
Perhaps as a community of similar humans, we have formed a sort of ambience around writers block that makes us all feel better about it in front of the world. Good intentions ask us how the novel is coming, and we wink and we smile and we say, “I’m so close, I just need to get over this last hump of writers block…” while behind our eyes, where truth resides, we have guilt about it. We know logically that really, writers block is easy to come out of. It just takes commitment, and the extreme discipline of exiting out of Amazon Prime videos and opening up a pages document instead. I don’t even have to move from the couch, or put away the Cheeze-its. I just need to put on some music in whatever mood I’d like to write in, choose a new font, and write about whatever is happening to my characters as if I were having drinks with a friend discussing the latest gossip. Getting out of writers block is actually extremely easy……………………… logically.
In reality, I don’t actually have the discipline to open a pages document when I’m not overcome in inspiration. I mean, seriously though. It is as if my mind does not have control over my body. I weirdly become stressed that I haven’t scrubbed the oven since we got it, or that my little dog Bodie hasn’t eaten his second breakfast yet, and it’s almost lunch time… and my body stays as it is: not writing.
The worst part about this whole thing is that as my body continues to not write, guilt grow inside me, nice and deep, and for some reason that guilt makes it more difficult to open up my edits. The tide goes out and I enter into yet another cycle of “writers block” — I mean “taking a break from my writing to replenish my inspiration flow”.
I mean sitting on the couch watching Doctor Who and perhaps moving on to ice-cream.
You see, as a writer, there is nothing logical about not writing. Our words make us who we are. They are arguably the most important part of our existence, so writers block is literally the antithesis of the writer, and yet we all experience it on a regular basis, like whenever Jupitor is rising; we just all put our pens down.
I know that the only thing that will make me a published author is the ability to somehow gain control over this phenomena. More importantly, however, I know that I am a human being. I know that I am supposed to be complicated and do things that don’t make sense. The contradiction between our bodies and our minds is part of our existence and is what makes us human. Perhaps writers block is simply the required antagonist in our story, but I feel that is too obvious of an explanation.
So I ask you a simple question… why do you think every single one of us gets writers block? Does it have a purpose in our lives as writers? Is it contagious? Or is it simply an eternal struggle we have romanticized? 💛
M . A . Ryan
Leave your ideas/thoughts in the comments below ♥︎