Writer’s Block

(Written after a period of actual writer’s block, c. June 2016)

You’ve been thinking about it all day. You need to write. The deadline’s coming up and you still don’t have a story. Bloody deadlines, god, how you hate them. You are not the kind of person who likes to have deadlines for anything, let alone writing. You hate it when the theme is imposed too. To you, writing means freedom, and you cannot have it that way. And yet, here you are. You need to write. You’ve been putting it off for so long, because you didn’t have ideas. Screw ideas, you have a deadline. Sometimes, being a writer can suck majorly, and there’s nothing you can do but putting up with it. Heck, you do need to write.

You get home and still try to put it off a bit more. It’s like you’re moving in slow motion, taking an impossibly long time to take off your coat, wash your hands, make some toast and coffee. You’ve been living out of coffee these days. You walk towards the computer. You feel like you might as well die. You sit down, very slowly, you get back up because you forgot something. You bring it, you sit down. The idiotic computer won’t turn on. You wait, your eyes lost in everything around you. The table, the notebook, the wall. You look out of the window, as if inspiration would come flying through it any minute. It’s on. Finally. You open a blank document and stare at it, as you drown in the fear, the impotence of not writing, the urge to just not write. You don’t leave though. Writers don’t leave. You hate knowing this truth, but you do know it. You wouldn’t be able to leave, for the life of you.

There seems to be absolutely nothing inside your head. Your mind is just empty or full of white noise. You try to think but there’s nothing there. Stale, air. It’s pitch black and it’s the worst feeling you’ve ever experienced. It feels like you’re lost, it feels like you’re meaningless, it feels like you’re alone. You do not like it when things are meaningless, you need to find the point. If you don’t, things might get really bad. You bloody hate this feeling. You feel trapped in an empty room, and there’s nothing to do inside. It’s your worst fear, and the worst punishment you can think of. You’re not claustrophobic, just afraid that there might be no point. Your other worst punishment that you’ve thought about is physical pain that would start off as harmless and increase with time, forever. There would be no point in complaining, because it would only ever get worse than it was. The only thing left to do would be being grateful, since, after all, the present would always be relatively better than the future would be. You’d be forcing people to be grateful for pain. You really want to write about it someday, but you can’t figure out who would do something evil enough to deserve this punishment. You hate this feeling with your soul.

Gosh, you can remember some of the good times, those times when you’ve been attached to this same computer, not by anger but by the joy of telling a story. That’s what inspiration is. You shouldn’t force it, it should force you to sit down and write, because you realize you have something to say, and you can’t wait another second before you say it. OH WAIT that’s a good sentence. You write it down. You feel incredibly pleased with yourself. You are somehow tempted to call it a day. But you don’t. You need to write. You decide to see where it leads you. You write and, most certainly, it leads to an abyss of crap. You can’t stand writing crap. People say it’s alright, but you just can’t see the point in it. You wouldn’t say you write for the people, but you certainly do not write only for yourself. You need to know that whatever you’re writing, someone’s going to read. You don’t consider writing to be a solitary act. After all, how can the very act of telling be a solitary act? You write to tell somebody something. You write because it makes you feel strong and powerful when you arrange a couple of symbols into words and those words can make people feel stuff. You enjoy seeing them laugh, cry, go completely mad at your stories. You enjoy telling them things. But what if you have nothing to tell? You’re trying. Heck, you’re trying.

The problem with writing is that it’s so unstable. One week you’ll be about to explode, so full of ideas and sentences and feelings that you’re desperate to translate into words, so that maybe someday, someone will feel them. And the next you’ll just be empty, the magic gone with the wind. And, because writing is your thing, what you love, what you do, what helps you cope and give this meaningless life some meaning, you get lost. Not only in writing but in everything. You’re just sitting around, waiting for the words to come, and they don’t, and it sucks that you can’t make them come. Words are unpredictable, and it’s quite a challenge to master them. You face that challenge every day, or at least you try, and there is absolutely nothing that makes you happier in this world. It is a form of art, a business of gentlemen and gentlewomen and you cannot be any prouder of knowing how to master words. Usually, they just click. You know how to put them together, and pull them apart, and move them around, and swirl and swish them until you find the right spot for them. And then it just looks right. God, you just love writing. You need to write.

The ceiling gets boring after a couple of minutes and you go back to the blank document. You are afraid of a white screen. What an absolute dork. You need to write. You try to remember what you usually get inspiration from, then give up because you know very well, that you don’t just get it. It comes on its own, when it wants to, maybe it does fly through windows. Sometimes, you picture it as an abnormally busy lady who can visit you on rare occasions, although, more often than not, she misses Mr. Time by far. She comes at the most inconvenient hours and disturbs you, then leaves you when you need her the most. What a cruel lady. For a second, you think this may be a decent idea, but luckily (luckily?) you realize it’s rubbish before you even start. You are insanely mad at the lady. You need to write.

You search the internet for tips, and find only a few semi-decent things that don’t work with you anyway. You want to murder someone at this point, but writing about murder isn’t an option this particular time. Or maybe it is? Screw imposed themes. You breathe. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Writing used to give things sense, now it only makes them lose it. The wall, for example, is not so much a wall anymore. You have no idea what it is now. You have no idea what anything is, you have no idea, you have to write.

Suddenly a thought strikes you. A crazy one, but it could work. If only you give it the right shape and make the words click nicely, it should work. It might even be a good one. You’ve been asking yourself how to describe that feeling that you get when you’ve just had the most amazing idea. How do you call that bubbly feeling in your chest when you know you’re finally onto something good? How could one possibly fit everything that’s so right about that feeling into words? You realize that maybe it’s the opposite. You are so far away from the right that you might as well describe the wrong. What’s wrong? Do you ever wonder what’s wrong? You close the tab you were looking at, which reads a list of useless tips. You reopen the blank document and you stare at it, not in fear but defiantly, like daring it to talk back to you. Or maybe, maybe you’ll be the one to talk. You keep wondering, how do you describe such a peculiar feeling? Suddenly, you just know you’re good enough to, at least, try. You’ll try, and maybe you’ll make it, and if not you’ll write yourself out of it. You’ll make a ladder out of words that will click perfectly, and climb out of the hole. You will always find words. You’ll find them soon. Soon. The deadline. You need to write. You can write. You start writing. You turn on Bold and write your title, two words. You turn it off, press enter and, after leaning your head to the side for a minute, wondering if it will fit, choose a first sentence.

“You’ve been thinking about it all day. You need to write.”


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