• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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You are the Sun I am the Moon

I want to address the people with writer’s block. Disclaimer: I don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe in anxiety, depression, fear, an abundance of self-consciousness, rage, dependencies including co-dependence, vitamin deficiency, etc. I also believe that if you write three sentences in a diary every day you’ll work your way out of it. You don’t have to be good or inspired or even have an idea. Just describe what’s outside the window, or your therapy session, or a dialogue between you and Neil Diamond. It takes time and thought to figure our what you want to write, even what you need to write. But you won’t get there by not writing. You can’t afford to have writer’s block. You can’t afford to wait, to have the perfect situation, to have a contract, to have a million people on Tik Tok. You don’t, Virginia, even need a room of your own. Notebook meet pencil.

Do you have writer’s block and how do you get out of it?

photo Boston Globe

12 Responses

  1. Writer’s block is like not wanting to have sex because you have a headache. The remedy isn’t take two aspirins and call me in the morning. The remedy is to have sex. You’ll soon forget about the headache and feel so much better about life in general.

    When I get “writer’s block” it’s not that I can’t write, it’s that I don’t feel like it right now or I’m too inside the work. Again, the remedy is to write. Maybe not on the project I’m working on, but I can write about something else.

    I’ve had several revelations while writing about something totally foreign to what I’m working on just by stepping away to write something else.

  2. I do not believe in writer’s block but once when I was stuck, I retyped the entire Kafka’s Metamorphosis. It gave me ideas. It comforted me. And, I was writing in a manner of speaking.

  3. I have logorrhoea. I think- I type. But I understand writers’ block. It’s an understanding of our own insignificance. People telling us we don’t matter. What we say will have no meaning. A wearing away our our souls. That old story of the kid being told when drawing Jesus that she couldn’t because nobody knew what God looked like. ‘They will in a minute’.

  4. “Writer’s block” for me is not knowing what to write, who my characters are, what they’re supposed to be doing – basically this list goes on and on.

    I’ve been in it for months. What doesn’t help are deadlines.

    Thank God I’ve finally found a topic/subject I want to write about, and am currently stuck on how to not ruin a really good subject by creating stock characters. So, yeah, I’m stuck at the moment, but I work on my synopsis every day, and every day I find some different angle.

  5. “Do you have writer’s block and how do you get out of it?”

    I had it once, and clearly remember — it was the early summer of ’88. I had finished the draft of one (at that time I did not realize abysmally bad) novel and wanted to start the next. But I didn’t know how to start it. There was a lot I didn’t know then, like how what you do is you just write. Doesn’t matter what. Just write whatever comes out and go with it from there, wherever it leads. If it leads to a dead-end, get out and start again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    For a month I couldn’t get the thing started. Then the opening line came to me, and it was off to the races (and a second abysmally bad novel).

    Writer’s block is maybe, at least or in part, from when a writer is trying too hard to exert control over the process. Thinks that writing something is like assembling packing boxes. It’s not. It’s growing a garden. When you’re writing, if you know what you’re doing, you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re just the gardener.

  6. Wow. I think you hit the ball right on the sweet spot and sent it deep into the center field stands. Your consistent commitment to Finish the Fucker is inspiring. My excuse is, I don’t have the time and your not so sugar coated reply is, Make the time. Thank you for the kick in the ass.

  7. I’m a short-form writer. I can’t afford to have writer’s block because I have a weekly deadline. So, when my mind zones out I go for ride, alone, in my car along the beautiful Connecticut River. Okay, don’t judge me, I interview myself. It works.

    Um, it’s like…so we’re having beef for dinner. What cut, how to prepare, what goes with if, is anyone joining us and where. It’s the whole who, what, when, where and why shit.
    Because I don’t have time for lengthy nuance I have to, (cliche alert), cut to the chase. No, I’m not a food writer.

    Hey Donna, go for a ride, ask and answer and I bet it will all fall into place just the way that feels right.Like I’m giving you advice. Your the pro. I’m a hack.

  8. How did you find my picture for today’s post?

      • No writer’s block whatsoever–just really interesting distractions… Sometimes, I think what I’ve written is long and meandering while my writer friends like it; other times, I think it’s spot on and I’m off, so it hasn’t been unusual for me to squirrel away my efforts away while wondering, knowing I’ve worked really hard. Yikes. This is a valuable lesson: Just put it out there, always, once you’ve done your best.

  9. I have writer’s block so bad I’ve avoided this blog for years because it was like rubbing my own nose in it. But since I’m not dead yet, I haven’t completely given up.

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