Confession: I have been suffering from some of the worst writers’ block I have ever experienced for well over a year now. I’m not sure what triggered it, or what’s been feeding it, but all I know is that something up there is blurry. It comes at an odd time since my current living is made through the written word. Irony, I suppose.
Experiencing writers’ block is to envision it; to see it take shape in your mind. To give it a face, a name, a metaphor. To me, writers’ block is like limited vision; where you used to have the ability to see for miles and miles, there is only static and blurry commotions. It’s like that feeling we all get of trying to remember the right word and it just doesn’t come to mind right then and there but eventually it does. For me, that’s almost how every sentence feels. Inside my head, I feel like there’s a dictionary of words and none of the right ones seem to want to conspire to reveal themselves or come together to form something new and unique.
And amidst all this fury, is the overwhelming realization, the overwhelming awareness, that I am not writing where I feel I should be writing. And that conscious reality stays with me every time I sit down to write, which is every single day. It is, suffice to say, a bit haunting. It is the self-acknowledgment that you are no where near where you could be, where you should be, and the irony is that no one knows this but you. Like mental constipation.
It is incredibly frustrating and that frustration accumulates by a magnitude I can’t even begin to describe. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan on being a writer for the rest of my life, it’s just that to me, there is a need to write. It is simply a biological function. There a trillion thoughts wandering through my head each day, and if I can’t write about at least one in some articulate manner, then the pressure cooker upstairs explodes. It will either end up manifesting itself into a second personality, or turn me into one of the crazy people who wander the streets screaming at imaginery people. Either way, I will surely find myself in a white room, with cushioned walls and in an uncomfortable jacket.
Hence this blog; hence everything.
There are a million ways to break writer’s block apparently. Everyone I’ve shared this with has given me a remedy or two, and I’ve even gone so far as googling the subject and doing my own research on it. I’ve done the crosswords and free-association. I’ve tried most of it, and I’m sure people will continue to make their suggestions. But nothing, as of yet, seems to have worked and I’m pretty sure at this point that nothing will.
It’s a confusing subject to understand and it’s even tougher to solve.
Do you analyze the cause in order to determine the solution or do you simply try out various remedies randomly? Is it a lack of inspiration, and if so, how does one “get” inspired? How does someone settle all the mental lawsuits that clog the brain?
How do you go about all this completely alone, knowing that no one can help you?
I used to listen to music, read a book, read poetry, write poetry, watch a movie, and try to find some inspiration in between all that. In the past it worked to an extent, but I don’t think it’s working as well now. There are times when it still does and I get this physical feeling as if someone opened a window briefly to let the cool air, before slamming it shut again. For that brief moment I taste freedom and I can write. But it’s brief.
I think what’s worse about this disease is not only the fact that there’s no clearcut prescribed remedy, but also that the cause is always something that no one else can figure out for you. It is completely yours and yours alone to carry; to suffer.
I’m writing this confession now and here, not out of a need for a presentable solution or even empathy; I just thought it would be good, perhaps even beneficial, to say it out loud on the biggest vocal platform I have at my disposal.
But at least it’s not contagious.