Days of Nothing to Say (Writer’s Block)`
The other day someone posted a question in one of the writer’s groups I’m a member of. It asked the question, “what do you do when you have writer’s block?” – and I gave the question some thought before coming back with a well-reasoned but honest answer: I open the journals I keep and start to write bullet points of character attributes, which are what I use for character sketches.
The thing is, though… that’s not all there is to it.
Every once in a while I get an inspiration for a really great story, and when that happens, I start to write a book. The truth is, I have a pretty good notion of where I’m headed by the time it just begins to follow out of me. Most of the time I write easily – it’s just a matter of keeping all that verbiage focused. Even when I’m not writing a book, I’m writing something. I was on social media before there was social media. If you’re like me, you don’t have writer’s block in the form of no words issuing forth from beneath your fingers.
You have writer’s block in the form of nothing to say. Seriously, I get hung up emotionally and I’m still speaking, or writing, but I’m saying a whole lot of nothing. I have to stop myself from issuing empty edicts all day long, and re-focus my attention onto something like physical exercise, chores, gardening, or playing video games, just to keep me from boring myself and everyone else on the planet.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m not that confident.
I’m not that confident, but, I am aware that if I place myself in the position to receive too much criticism too soon, I can find myself in a shut down mode. I feel a little ill… anxious, maybe nauseated, and then I’m not writing anything, because I’ve decided that everything I have to say is very, very stupid.
For me, that is the cause of a writer’s block… a feeling of self-consciousness that strikes a chord of deep unnerved oh hell I just used a cliche strike a chord is so cliche there’s nothing new under the sun everything I write is derivative, and no one gives a crap. I need to shut up. Yea. That feeling. It comes just before the shut down. Although I have a philosophy that most of your critical types are dealing with the same loud-mouthed inner-critic as myself. I have some evidence to suggest it, since people I know and love have admitted to me that they kind of hope I suck so they will feel better and become inspired to write.
I say, go with that.
Find someone you totally think sucks, then meditate on their horrendous writing day and night. Tell yourself, “I can write better than this fool” until you overcome your feelings of self-consciousness. Then, you won’t been too worried to write anymore.
Just in case you haven’t found anyone you feel the literary superior of, I’d like to take out this time to suggest you go out and purchase one of my books, “Solitude”, “Warmth”, or “The Moon Cried Blood”, on the off hand chance that I will be someone you can gloat over.
Do I have a self-depreciating sense of humor? Why yes, I do.
~ by Sumiko Saulson on May 22, 2012.