Saturday, November 20, 2010

Writer's Block

Today, I want to talk about writer's block.  Exactly what is this condition called writer's block?  What causes it and what can remedy it?  Does everyone experience writer's block or is it just the malaise experienced by aspiring novelists?  How long does it last: hours, days, months? I hope not.

These questions have circulated inside my head for some time now.  I'm experiencing writer's block.  I say these words with the same sadness and fear one feels when stricken with an illness with no known cause or cure.  The sadness comes from the sudden loss of creativity and the fear slowly sinks in a bit later when there's no clear sign that creativity will return. 

What should I do?  Well, sometimes I'll read other novels to keep my mind occupied so that I don't think about 'my problem'.  I normally listen to music for enjoyment but lately I do it to relax since I'm tense about not writing.  I also lean on my friends for support during my 'difficult' time.  Alas, no one can help me for I have to find my way out of the limbo that I am currently in.  This limbo is like a revolving vortex that surrounds an arid valley where nothing grows and you feel like a waterless well: barren.  Dramatic isn't it?  Yes, I watch the Syfy channel.

How did this happen? In my case, I blame it on everyday stresses like finances and teenage children.  But finances and parenthood are part of life and we do the best we can.  Just like every other single mother in the world, I resolve my problems, take care of my home and family and hold a full-time job.  I have a good network of friends who support me and surround me with their positive and uplifting energy.  This is a wonderful thing, because I know that I'm not alone and that I'm loved.

Now, why am I still not writing? I haven't found an answer, but let me say this.  I hope to one day be a published novelist.  This is my story: I started working on a young adult novel in the Fantasy/SciFi genre, and I experienced what I thought at the time was a 'momentary' block. I tried to shake it off and not worry or think too much about it.  Shortly thereafter, inspiration for another novel overtook me.  I proceeded to work on this second novel, but now have experienced writer's block again. This time the block has persisted and I began to worry.  Presently, I have two novels that I have begun but somehow can't move forward on.  I'm proud of the work I've done so far and I would hate for the stories that I want to tell to die before they get off the ground.  I just need to unlock the vault where they lie dormant waiting for me to release them.

I have potential.  Potential is a good thing, but what really is potential?  As I understand it, potential is the promise of ability.  But unless potential is followed by a lot of effort, potential really gets you nowhere.  Now, effort is an action that executes the energy that one exerts to complete something.  Well, I certainly have energy so all I really need is to be dumped into a vat of creativity to get my writing juices flowing.  Then I can use my energy and make the effort to put my potential to good use.  I don't know about you, but I haven't seen any creativity vats lying around for me to jump into.  Perhaps I should awaken the Greek Gods and appeal to the Writing Muse.  

Oh, Muse of Creativity
Of Prose and Poetry
I beseech thee to aid me in my quest
Remove all blocks in my way
So that I may write today

I conclude this editorial so that I can relax in my bedroom and listen to music with the lights off until I drift off to sleep or astral project to Narnia. 

Until the next time,


  1. Hi Carmen,
    You're a great writer. Just stop musing and start writing and the block will go away.

  2. I agree with Angela. Stop stressing out over it - just write whatever comes to mind, whether it's a story you already started, or something completely different. Sometimes I come back to "snippets" I wrote years ago, and they can inspire me to continue - or to make something completely different. Just go with the flow - your mind flow. :) <3 ya!

  3. Your lil sis here , you have read to me some of your story's and in my opinion you have what it takes to do what you love to do! You inspire me to do the same. Writers block is some thing that comes and goes! Soooo let it go! Clear your mind and let the pen talk to the paper! I know you can do it , why , because you have! Any thing I can do let me know! Love you bunches!!!

  4. Writer's block can be a real pain, but the only way past it that I know is just to WRITE. Write about your day, write about the weather, just write *something*. I know it's easier said than done. Hopefully your blog will help you get through it :)

  5. Thanks for your support Angela,
    I don’t know if I’ll ever stop musing but I will definitely work on writing more.

  6. Thanks Sofia, I will endeavor to go with the flow. As a matter-of-fact today I was working on a re-write of a vignette I wrote in ’08.

  7. Hi Sis,
    Thanks for your kind words; I feel the love! I’m working on letting go, loosening up and going with the flow. I’ll keep you posted on the “anything you can do let you know” part. I may need you to clean my house. Lol!

  8. Hi Meghan,

    Thanks. I will keep that in mind. I'll write on the blog and hopefully, the little light inside my brain will turn back on, and I will see the little me that is locked in a tiny room with a sign that says "BLOCK" open the door, take the sign down and begin to type on her laptop. ; )

  9. Write about me !!! write about me !!!! Soon, very soon, you will run out of things to say and will be FORCED to come up with some new ideas. Thank you very much, you are very welcome