Again apologies for the silence. Where have you been my vast army of Blog Followers have asked (they have said it, honest, just not in the comment box).
Writer’s block. Really, it is… and it isn’t just about not knowing what to write next. It’s about not knowing what to write at all. How disastrous is that for an aspiring Writer!
“Writer’s Block”, I always thought, is one of those phrases that is really just an excuse for not wanting to do your homework. Well it always worked for me. But actually, according to Wikipedia, it is a condition, primarily associated with writing – although pop culture cartoonist Charles Schulz is said to have had it – in which “an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown”.
That’s me. And it seems I’m not alone. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Joseph Conrad, Ernest Hemingway and Leo Tolstoy. And if you don’t get writers block after writing War and Peace then you can’t call yourself a Writer, I say.
I am reliably informed by writer friends of mine that this can range from having difficulty coming up with original ideas, to not being able to string two words together, to not being able to write another sentence for years. All sounds pretty feasible, and forgivable, if you are a seasoned author. But if your a first time writer, such as myself who has only got the one book under her belt, the chances are it’s more about lacking the confidence and self-belief – that there is more than the one book lurking inside you. Or, as is more likely to be the case for me, other distractions have just gotten in the way.
Having spent more years than I would have liked writing Road to Damascus I’ve thrown myself back into full-time work and sitting in front of a screen tapping out my usual Sunday evening drivel doesn’t seem as much fun when I’m also spending five days a week tapping out drivel.
But the simple fact is, on a good day, I like writing. Although I’m not sure I like blogging. The average observer reading those words would ask, “What’s the difference?” The writing snob among us would reply, “A world.” It has taken me nearly ten months of blogging to work out that a weekly blog isn’t going to make me a better writer, but it may help with the discipline of writing. But lately even this basic truth has evaded me.
Like writing a school essay, writing 500 words each week on a random thought, event, or rant, as often has been the case, provides enough interested for the 2 hrs it takes to produce them (if I’m lucky), and even less time to read them, but there is little to sustain the mind.
Therefore, with this realisation staring me in the face, I am going to let the writing snob in me take control once again. To doggedly bash out 500 words for the sake of doing it is a little like doing Churchy ‘good works’ – serves no one but the worker.
From now on I’m going to let the cat do the typing. Stay tuned.