It’s been a couple weeks since I made a post about my writing process (or things I’ve learned along the way), so I figured it was due.
This week has been a long, strange week for me, both at home and work. While I don’t care much to talk about my job (except share a few photos from my more adventurous travels), something happened to me at home this week that doesn’t happen too often: For the life of me, most days this week I couldn’t decide what to wear. I changed at least 5-6 times almost every morning, one day was a whopping eight (yes I counted, and until this afternoon the clothes still littered my closet floor). During this fiasco I wondered…”Is this what writer’s block feels like?”
I ask because, in honest, I’ve never really had writer’s block. (I did get out of a sore case of ‘developmental’ block, which I will explain in a later post.) I don’t necessarily consider writer’s block a ‘lack of writing’ but more of a frustrating experience.
If anyone has ever experienced the ‘clothes swap’ before, then you know that no matter what you put on, it doesn’t look right even if you’ve worn the outfit a dozen times before. Time dicks down before you need to leave, anxiety rises as you rip a new shirt or pants off the hanger, but something feels off no matter what you try. It isn’t necessarily ‘you’, but the clothes. Eventually you settle on something, giving up on trying to care what it looks like because you need to be somewhere.
Even through I’ve never really had writer’s block before, I can’t help but feel it having a similar vibe. No matter what you write, something feels off. Maybe your characters aren’t acting ‘in character’, or the setting is wrong for the scene, or a conversation has bad timing in relation to the plot, or the flow keeps getting disrupted because you need to go back and check something that happened three chapters before…only to come to the conclusion that what you wanted to write no longer makes sense.
At the end of the day, you thrown the clothes in with the other dirty laundry and forget about what happened. Unlike your clothes, however, words can carry weight. As frustrating as it is, you’ll eventually have to write something- but will it work out? Every point made in the story is critical in some way, so whatever goes down on paper could be there to stay.
Good thing we can easily highlight and delete entire paragraphs in a few seconds, right? In other words, while I believe it’s important to write something over letting weeks go by with nothing, it really isn’t anything to sweat over. At the end of the day, you can just toss anything unwanted in with the other dirty laundry and forget it ever happened. (Or keep old drafts, like I do, to remind yourself how far you’ve come.)
That being said, I hope I never experience writer’s block. 🙂