As a member of this merry Blogenning band, once a week we post about a communal topic. This week’s Blogenning topic, set by Dave, is that dreaded curse known as Writer’s Block.
To be honest, I think everyone’s had a run in with Writer’s Block. Writing a paper for a class or an email to a friend or a part of your NaNoWriMo novel and suddenly there’s this… thing in the way. An emptiness that isn’t empty. Kind of like a Gelatinous Cube in your head, absorbing all your creativity. It’s a moment of furtive inner silence.
At the same time, I think the block can be different for different people. For some it’s the inability to produce any words or thoughts and for others it’s about quality; not being able to figure out the next piece to your satisfaction. But for me, Writer’s Block is caused by something far more fundamental: motivation. Well, more to the point, the lack thereof.
Take this blog. The last few weeks have been woefully short of posts. Sure, I could blame packing, moving, unpacking, not having a computer desk or chair, work, exhaustion, or a dozen other things, but the truth is that I just wasn’t motivated. There was nothing urging me on to write. The novelty of The Blogenning was starting to wear off and all those things just made it convenient to stop.
And that’s what happens when I write creatively. I’m excited, start piecing a plot together, flesh out some characters, and, at some inconvenient moment, lose my muse. The compulsion to create is gone and the story gets shelved.
Honestly, I think that’s the difference between an author and a writer. An author creates, but they do it when inspiration seizes them. Writers do it for a living. They press on. They overcome their obstacles. It’s at that moment when it seems the motivation is gone and hope is quickly flickering out that their best material comes out.
Because that block, whether short-lived or long-winded, is always there, lurking. And there’s no real telling when it’ll strike or what will cure it. You’ve only got two choices: push on through or retreat. And that’s why I restarted this blog – to help me build up the determination to persevere. Sure, I’m going to falter every now and then, but what’s important is that I can pick myself up, dust off, and keep going. If necessary, with the help of friends.