I am not writing today. Just not going to do it. My brain hurts, my feet hurt, this spot about two inches below my right elbow hurts, and I think I am coming down with something. Not sure exactly what it is, but it could be a case of writer’s block. Feels like it might be. You see I am pushing ideas into one side of my brain and nothing is coming out the other.
Well, maybe it’s just mental constipation. It’s been going on all weekend. I think, an idea forms, but I just get a couple of brain farts and nothing else comes out.
What? Oh, sorry. Um, let’s try a different direction…
Try this: I don’t believe writer’s block. There is always something to write about. The phenomenon of “writer’s block” is just really an expression of the fact that the writer’s idea has yet to achieve that plane of consciousness where it can be fully articulated by the written word. In fact, the phase “writer’s block” is used as an excuse for a writer to deny the fact that their idea has yet to come to fruition.
Or, “writer’s block is just an excuse used by lazy writers.” Whoa, that will generate some hate mail. May not be strictly true, but it feels that way. Most of the time when I hear a writer say that they can’t write and are ‘blocked’ my normal answer is, “Well write about why you’re blocked – that’s something to write about.” If the advice is followed, then presto, no more writer’s block.
Here’s my problem: all week I’ve had this really great line floating around my brain. It’s the opening line of a poem. It feels really good, it’s interesting to me, it’s related to the poem I posted last week and seriously, if I could just get a second line it would be an awesome poem.
I haven’t found the second line all week. Oh I get close. I hear half a line, maybe four really good words and then darkness. It leads no where. So, I do what all great writers have done (or I imagine they do), I put the line on the shelf and move on to something else. Cool, so in my head I got halfway through a really great post on what the fourth dimension really is before I realized I don’t know what the heck I am talking about.
Then I fall back to the really great line. Okay on Friday I was up to two and a quarter lines. Slow, but progress.
On Saturday I did the other thing that also helps my writing, Heather and I went hiking up to Borel Hill here’s a picture. It’s on Russian Ridge, I wrote about that awhile on this post.
My brain normally breathes in enough clean air that my brain clears after a couple of miles and great ideas start to flow. It partly worked – I came home with a very clear, but empty head. I did get a bit of a sunburn so that was something I guess.
Don’t get me wrong, I needed the hike, I needed to see trees and sometime soon I know it will pay off.
This afternoon we did another thing that often gets my creative juices flowing, we went to an art and wine show. There were lots of creative things there: paintings, sculptures, pottery, glass, wooden bowls and this really cool cutting board. Seeing the work of all the artists often sparks my own creative mind. Today I mostly got ideas for Heather to do on her next oil painting. Other than a nice afternoon out and a walk in the sun, it didn’t move the poem in my head beyond line 2.75.
Well, we did buy a cutting board, so I got something…
No that’s a gift for someone else, I don’t get to keep it.
Then I tried another tactic that often helps me with a piece of writing – I told Heather about what I was working on.
It worked! It was in that moment when I spoke the line to her out loud that I realized the problem: It’s stupid. Really, a totally dumb line utterly void of any reason to work on it any further.
So I just wanted you to know that I am not writing a post or a poem this week. It’s not because I am lazy, or have writer’s block, but rather because I am an idiot who wasted all week thinking about stupid stuff.
Well, sorry you made the effort to get all the way here just to find out that I decided not to write this week.
Till next week,
Enjoyed this post so much! Thank you.
Glad you enjoyed it, I might not write again…
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You got a lot of inspiration out of a lack of inspiration which I don’t actually believe in. Gotta write through it, which is different than running through the pain. It’s more like just get the words down and then think which is kind of what you did. Keep the line. It may come in handy for something else. (Used a lotta which’s in that little comment which is a comment unto itself.)
There are times that I think while I am writing so I often just start typing and see where it goes. Then I go back and edit down to something printable. As to the line I was thinking about? Well, it might come back in a different form, but those exact words don’t work even though the concept might have something to it.
What a beautiful hiking spot!
One of my favorite hikes.
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It makes me feel better when I know I’m not the only one who sometimes needs a mental laxative. Great post.
You’d be surprised how often this really happens. Most of the time I can cover because I’ve got a couple of writing pieces in the fire, but this week I just went with old, 799 words about nothing routine. You don’t know how close you got 1,200 words on the 4th dimension…
I’m disappointed you won’t be posting. I rely on your inspired words. Do you have an ETA for the next post?
I plan on posting more words next Sunday, but inspired words? You might have to wait till June or July for that. 😉
Good post. I enjoyed reading it. 🙂
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Borel Hill looks a really beautiful place!
We love hiking up there. On a clear day, you can see most of the San Francisco Bay Area from the top as well as a great views back to the Pacific. And it’s not that difficult a hike, about a 1,000 foot climb up from the parking lot over about .75 miles of well maintained trail.
This comprehensively describes the way I feel most of the time. There are so many ‘blind alleys’ on my hard drive you wouldn’t believe, but only when I write these things down can I recognize they aren’t going anywhere. True to my hoarding nature, I don’t delete them. I let them fester, and come back to them only when Spring comes round again. My second great frustration is my absolute inability to retain a good line after I have thought of it. If I don’t write it down right then, it dies.
I’ll admit to feeling this way more often than I normally mention here. I’ve got a file of lines, essay fragments, story outlines that just haven’t made it anywhere yet. I think that is just part of what a writer does. You have to explore you share of ‘blind alleys’ on your way to the good work you’re capable of.
That’s some writers block. Looks like you wrote over 1,000 words, which is more than I can write in a week. Sometimes our brains just need a rest, just like the rest of our other parts. Maybe you need to listen to your body and rest.
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799 words to be exact… 😉