Posts Tagged ‘writer’s block’

Writer’s block and chalk pastels

I’ve started at least a half a dozen pieces tonight. I tried writing about current events. I tried writing poetry. I tried writing about poetry. I tried reworking stuff I wrote years ago. And now I’m writing this. I’m feeling very disjointed tonight and my bed is calling my name. Maybe tomorrow I’ll finish one or two or six of the pieces I started tonight, but for tonight, I give up.

Instead, I figured I’d share a few more of my chalk pastel drawings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raising Words

A woman who writes feels too much,
those trances and portents!
As if cycles and children and islands
weren’t enough; as if mourners and gossips
and vegetables were never enough.
She thinks she can warn the stars.
A writer is essentially a spy.
Dear love, I am that girl.

~From The Black Art by Anne Sexton

For as long as I can remember, words have been tangible. I could grasp them in my hands, feel their weight, taste them, smell them, devour them, and give birth to them. But my devotion to them has not been a constant. It’s waxed and waned over the years and during each waning, I’ve tormented myself over how to make them come alive again.

I suffocate from silence when I can’t release those words. They twist inside of me, clawing at me with a fierce rage. If not a writer, who am I? When those squiggly lines cease to create meaning, my very existence is put in jeopardy. I don’t want to write. I need to write.

I sit with fingers on the keyboard or a pen pressed against paper and I stutter. I can feel the words pushing from the back of my brain. I feel their struggle for freedom. And yet sometimes, I just can’t find the key to their cage. I try to pull them all out at once and end up in a bottlenecked frustration.

I must remember to breath. I can become so focused on freeing those words that I never notice I’m pushing them further back. When I relax and quiet myself, they filter out on their own. Like children, they move forward when they’re ready. My job is not to force them. My job is to encourage them.

Photo Credit

Attempting to write

I opened up the “in progress” folder on my desktop to see if I could possibly finish one of the six posts I’m working on (among them are a piece on boxes for The Write On Project and a post about closet racism). There are, of course, far fewer documents in this folder than in its sub- “on hold” folder (which includes a post about when I was poor, one about kid-free zones, and one about depression or politics – I was never sure which way it was going).

In addition to the “in progress” and “on hold” folders, there is also the index card box filled with topics to write about. And, of course, there are the posts swimming in my head that haven’t made any progress toward any kind of writtenness. Among those is an update on the whole weight loss thing.

And all of this adds up to the fact that I have had an exorbitant amount of trouble finishing a damn thought lately. In December, I blamed it on the holidays. In January, I blamed it on seasonal depression. In March, I just gave up justifying it at all. And now, in April, I’m attempting to rectify it.

If you gather anything from any of this (aside from the fact that I’m so neurotic that my lists do, in fact, have lists), it should be that I really am trying. While there may not have been many finished products lately, I have been pushing forward with the writing process. I think that counts for something.

Still, I long for finished products – they make me feel all accomplished and proud and like a real writer and stuff.

So, I’m sitting here with my “in progress” folder open and determined to pick one and finish it – maybe the short story about escape or my response to Jared’s letter.

It’s the first day of the week and the first day of the month and we’re cleaning the house today and it’s Spring and Spring means renewal and all this adds up to the perfect time to turn all this unfinished thought business around!

So here goes . . .

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