Thursday, March 11, 2010

Writer' s Block

Oh the dreaded two words of that thing, that happen to almost all writers. Don't we have this happen to all of us? Don't we all who write, be it just a grocery list, had a moment where we just did not know how to put words on paper?

Wikipedia tells me that a writer's block is a condition in which a writer loses the ability to write. Wikipedia explains it all, actually the one person, that posted the info on Wikipedia did. We all who had it in some extend, know how it feels. For me it is sitting in front off the screen, looking at the empty white and not be able to allow my fingers to do their magic on the keyboard. Often my right hand deviates to the mouse and clickety-click I am on one or other site reading instead of writing. After a while I feel bad and I go back staring at my text editor, the blank space begging me to fill it with words. Demanding me to create and put on paper; the worlds, characters, dialog and occasional murderous monsters that dwell in my mind.

Despite the immense desire to write, at that exact moment I just do not know how to. At times the thoughts race through my head incoherent, which should be first and in what order, other times it is just a white noise in my head. The time ticks away and with each consecutive tick my window to write narrows down. Time is not your friend in those times. I then stress to put something on paper to progress my book, to finish it. This feeling for me only increases the block. Sometimes I near despair and feel a knot in my stomach which grows bigger and bigger, expanding till I may explode.

Well I have to say, it sound worse than it really is for me. I may have writer's block from time to time, but it does not last a long period. I am in a way lucky. I heard that for some writers it can last ages and can ruin their careers. I can imagine that being possible. The little taste I get from time to time, is intense and I do not want to imagine how it would be if it went on for days. I am not sure I could handle that. I had times I did not write for weeks even months but never cause of a block. Those times it would be because of work or issues I had to deal with, which ate all my precious time. That's also frustrating, but it's different. The idea of every day trying to write but not being able scares me. I am glad it does not happen to me for days. (knock on wood) The hours I battle with not writing is anguish enough.

Before writing this piece I had one of those mini blocks. I sat in front of my screen, ready to start on this blog post. It was eight in the evening. The kids were sleeping (still are) and my wife went to bed early. I had all the silence I desired and nobody who would bother me for my attention. Still I stared at the screen, the feelings I described, I felt them all for one whole hour. Not a single word in that hour. I went to a forum I frequent to distract myself and try post something to get myself going, I could not. Nothing came to me, just a blank mind, ideas coming to it's border and just disappearing when touched by the blankness.

How did I deal with it today? I stood up and walked upstairs to my bedroom (the attic). I went to my sleeping wife (actually she was awake but I did not know yet) I hugged and kissed her and she giggled. She asked me if I was in a writing flow. I muttered something about a writer block and went back down. Again in front of an empty screen. I just started to write, starting with the title: Writer' s Block.

How do I normally deal with it? After going to the motions, I just decide to write anything. I force my fingers to type the words, all be it the 'abc'. It takes some willpower to endure the bad feelings that comes up and to decide not to give a &^%$ if you write well, good or if it has anything to do with the story. I will just write and eventually I get back into the flow. Once back in the flow I correct the craziness I wrote and pick up where I left. Sometimes the craziness I write, at moments like this, is not all that bad and I keep it.

Every writer has their own way to deal with it and for those that don't maybe my way may could help. Put the care away and press the any key.

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