I know I risk isolating my nonwriter/author peeps with this post, but sometimes I feel moved to do the risky.
Here I go.
I have a dear friend who is a writer/author (who shall remain nameless to protect her anonymity and our friendship), and she’s struggling right now.
The good news is she is not alone—her struggle is one almost all writers/authors go through at least once in their lives.
She’s afraid to write.
For a writer, that’s the equivalent of not being able to breathe. Or poop.
It’s called writer’s block for a reason.
Whatever you call it, it sucks.
Since she’s far away from me and I can’t physically give her a hug (or a wallop on the top of her head, followed by a hearty Cher-like, “Snap out of it!”), I did the best I could—I gave her a virtual enema…and hopefully a chuckle.
I hope it resonates with you too, especially if you’re a writer.
Or even if you’re not.
Because everybody gets blocked sometimes.
Hello there, my dear friend!
Thanks for breaking your social media, monk-like silence to read/comment on my post—I feel very special to be one of the things that brought you back into the light (or rather the dark because social media is as f-cking distracting as driving with a blanket over your head).
You know, your revelation actually surprised me. Not so much that it’s writing you fear—I just automatically assume the majority of writers fear that at some point, even the “professional” ones. It’s amazing we have anything to read. In that world, Amazon would be called “Urine Stream of an 85-Year-Old Man.”
What surprised me was you were brave enough to admit it.
Not that I don’t think you’re brave cuz, uh, motorcycles [her prior passion], but because it takes a lot of guts to say you’re afraid of:
- The thing you love and presumably want to do with your life.
- Something as safe as picking up a pen and paper, or typing some wittle, wittle wetters on a teeny, weeny keyboard.
I mean, how wack is that? Everyone would understand your unexpected fear of riding because a lot of people would never do what you used to do cuz, uh, motorcycles.
I think of admitting to the fear of writing like a kinky sex addiction or those people who eat weird shit like cigarette ashes and dryer sheets—something best done in private and never spoken of in polite company.
Or, alternately, something that shows up on a reality show on TLC.
And you know what “they” say: Admitting is half the battle. I don’t know what the other half is, but it’s probably not very good, so, sorry.
I think the thing you should remember is you’ve done this once before [wrote a book], which means you have the capacity to do it again. I suppose you could say the same thing about Ted Bundy’s first murder, but you get my point. And to be fair, your writing has never killed anyone, except maybe from belly laughs or drowning in salty tears (been a couple close calls for me, I tell ya).
OK, I’m not helping at all, so I’ll just end by saying you sure as shit can do this again. You’ve spoken the unspeakable, you’ve produced what’s un-producable for a shit-ton of people (shit-ton is a real word…look it up) and you’ve ridden what should be un-ridable cuz, uh, motorcycles.
I’ll end with the words of one of the most inspiring groups of people I’ve ever been told about second hand from this girl I have lunch with every other month or so: Cheerleaders from small, southern, backwoods high schools.
Pork chop, pork chop,
You can do it,
Now read one more chapter of Paper Towns cuz, uh, John Green…then GET BACK TO WORK!
So what about you? Have you ever had writer’s block, and what’d you use to clear it? What’s your biggest writing fear? Why do you keep writing, in spite of the fears and/or blockages? If you’re not a writer, what’s your constipation poison—laxatives or enema?