Writer’s Block

I often suffer from this traumatic condition. I intensely dislike having “dry spells”, particularly when I see an old friend or teacher who asks some incriminating question like, “Are you still writing?”

The response tends to be “ummmmmmmm . . . yeah,” and then I exhume some project I started a few months ago–no, was it really half a year?! How long have I been out of touch with this person? But then I try to find something interesting to say about it, MORE EXAMPLES, PLEASE!!! But then I realize that I don’t think it’s that good anymore, and then I come to the conclusion that I will need to revise. Which I loathe. So I let it become a rancid little file hiding away on four or five different computers–because I loved it at the time and saved it everywhere.

Usually I’m still having a conversation now. It’s torment to come to these conclusions about a work that might have been good . . . and still have to talk to someone.

So I make up some piece, trying desperately to spontaneously synthesize my absolute favorite books/movies, maybe steal some meaning from a song–and then decide to ask them how they are doing.

When I get home, I try to start something. I stare out the window. I glare at my computer screen or the paper. Nothing comes.

Why, oh why, do I have to deal with this? Sometimes I am going to spontaneously combust with the power of creation and originality, and need to write down all of my brilliant ideas–but most of the time I’m stranded in the desert with nothing to say.

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