Writer’s Block

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I’ve been dealing with some… stuff lately. I’ll expound upon it later but right now, I’d like to kick it off with this little headliner.

Yes, I know. The standard “good little writer response” to the phrase Writer’s Block is supposed to be: There’s no such thing.

Yeah, well. It still happens, whether or not you think it’s a real thing, writer’s block happens.

At first, back when I was young and dumb and thought I knew everything (life was so much simpler before adult realities like bills, weren’t they?) I thought “writer’s block” was just one of those creative “I got nuthin'” moments. It happened a few times and I would just move on to a completely different project, confident that as I was drawing or whatever a muse would come around, beat me on the head with a creative stick and then I’d be back to my writing self again.

Then I got pregnant. The day the test came back positive, the desire to write just… died.

I joke that my muse threw up her hands and said “I don’t work with kids,” and then left, but the truth of the matter is that I really did not want to write. I couldn’t comprehend writing. I would sit down at my computer and stare at it. I would hold a pen in my hand and just doodle on the page, but not write a single word beyond a grocery list.

I literally had no desire to write.

No. That’s not accurate. I wanted to write. I needed to write, but like the last few Mercurial Mondays that I’ve posted lately, it just wouldn’t come. It was like flogging a dead horse.

It was almost 4 years before the dam broke and I was flooded with words, drowning in them, deliriously swimming and splashing and throwing them about like a kid in a bubble bath.

Now it’s dried up again, and I don’t know why. I’ve tried the advice columns – music, working out, shaking up your gig, sacrificing a platypus at high noon on a pyre of burning asparagus, switch to another project, notecards, meditation, blahblahblah.

I push forward, and it’s like trying to move a mountain. I ignore it, and it burns in the back of my mind, just enough to be irritating. I focus on something else and it’s heartbreaking to the point that it feels like I can’t breathe. I feel tired and dry and… dry. So very dry.

They say it’s all in the mind. That if you focus on it, it becomes like mud that grabs your wheels and won’t let you leave but draws you further in.

It’s maddening and terrifying and exhausting and empty.

I don’t want to go another 4 years like this.

Neil Gaiman (is there anyone who doesn’t quote this guy?) says sometimes you just have to stop and refill the well.

And that’s fine and dandy.

If you know where your bucket is.

I seem to have lost mine, and that frightens me a great deal more than anything else right now.

Check out the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to see more writers dish about their concerns, their solutions to various problems, or just a general fear of spiders.


About kattywampusbooks

A SAHM with delusions of literacy.
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4 Responses to Writer’s Block

  1. It’s true, you have to find your own bucket. I find delving into other people’s work helps me – read, watch movies, play games, whatever you need to do to find new ideas and inspiration. Looking inward won’t help if there’s no ideas there, right? You need to get outside your head. But again, that’s just me.

    Good luck. You will find it again. Sometimes the muse is just a bitch.


  2. I can tell you straight out, it’s not your mind, it’s your hormones. I knew someone who was a painter, and when she got pregnant, her creativity completely dried up. And I, personally, can always tell when the hormones are shifting because my brain won’t be worth a hoot. I’m on the far end of the menopause train now, but I can tell you that the fluctuations can make you crazy. For years. Sometimes the words will be there in all their glory, and sometimes it’s flogging a dead horse, as you said. Just hang in there. You’ll make it.


  3. fpdorchak says:

    Maybe it’s a little of both…maybe a lot of neither.

    I’m betting you’ve never truly allowed yourself to NOT write. For a week. For a month. And you mention you’ve been dealing with some “…stuff” lately.

    AND writing these blogs.

    Katty, you fricking have a way with words and an in-fricking-crebile imagination, my friend (“…sacrificing a platypus at high noon on a pyre of burning asparagus…”). You just have a lot on your mind.

    Go get those “things” off your plate.

    ALLOW yourself to NOT write.

    Stop blogging for a spell.

    ENJOY the holidays and ALL THAT YOU HAVE.


    If you keep thinking about all that is wrong in your life…all the “not” you’re doing…how do you expect to move forward?

    Stop thinking about all that. Clean up all your loose ends, enjoy the holidays, and allow yourself to not write. Just tell yourself, YOU (and you’re Higher Power, if you’re so inclined) will work out what is going on, and trust that it WILL work out.

    Cause, you know, it always does.

    Now, go take a damned vacation!



  4. I was derailed big time when I found out my dad had ALS, and they couldn’t tell us how long he’d have. Sometimes these things happen. And sometimes it takes longer than other times to get back on the writing horse. But when the desire stays there, eventually you stumble back Good luck.


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