Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and the Blocked

Like the other wonderful ladies who have posted this week, I too hate talking about Writer's Block. When you make your living at writing, anything that stops you from accomplishing it is terribly frustrating. It's like a surgeon no longer being able to hold a scalpel or a violinist no longer able to hold their bow. Sometimes, for me personally, my "block" has been self-inflicted. It comes as the result of my procrastination. I have stepped away from what I am working on, left it far too long, and then foolishly expect to get right back into it. Other times it is there no matter how many days and hours I have been pouring over my writing. It just sits there in my head, washing away all my thoughts and planting little seeds of doubt.

Though I've been lucky enough to not be too terribly hindered by Writer's Block, it is something that has slowed me down. I have gone weeks without being able write a single word. I've never been certain if this is actually a block, or just my ugly lack of self-confidence creepy around again. Whatever the source, it is something I am forced to deal with. I usually solve it by mentally regrouping. I take a step back and look over what I've accomplished so far. I realize that I've done more with my writing than I ever could have imagined. And I also remember that if I never sell another book, or write another article...I'll be OK.

When you define yourself as a "writer" it can be hard to accept the idea that your career at some point, hopefully not before you are ready, may end. Markets change (I know that first hand), life takes over and sometimes the spark fades. Those are the thoughts that tend to halt me in my tracks. It terrifies me to think that one day it could all be over. Who will I be without my writing? I guess it's just better to not write at all. Why put all this time and energy into something that may not happen again or may vanish into thin air?

That's my lack of confidence talking. Those are the words that can make writing hard. They can stop me dead in my tracks, and make me doubt myself over and over again. The only saving grace is that even in those dark and desperate moments, that little bit of me that knows this is what I am supposed to do begins to fight back. It begins to replace my doubt with a fierce determination that makes it possible to type another word and complete another sentence. It makes me get up in the morning and want to write. It gives me the courage to try, knowing full well that I could succeed or fall flat on my face. It gives me hope, and that's usually all I need to keep going.

Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

Maureen Lipinski said...

I'm with you! Somedays, the knowledge that I'm "supposed" to be writing is all that keeps me going!