What It Feels Like To Have Writer’s Block

I can’t even begin to tell you the things that one considers during writer’s block.

It all starts off seemingly inoffensive. You’re pushed back in your chair, and you begin erasing sentence after sentence. Doubting the start, doubting that verb. You begin to take hours if not days on one post simply because the words are not flowing out. So, you push back and you work on something else. You jump from page to page, reading articles that are tickling your senses, inciting your opinions, but not enough to form a complete thought. At first, you know better and are not alarmed, but as weeks pass and you feel no desire to narrate, you begin to panic. 

You go from not wanting to “force it” to not wanting to address it.

You gaze out at people at dinner tables, noticing the quiet conversation the two in the corner are having. You begin to mentally record their movements. You analyze the weight of each gesture. You pay close attention to their hands and the inclinations in their bodies. Do they love each other? Am I the only one seeing this? And for a brief moment, you think you have a love story on your hands, until suddenly they turn and the moment is lost. Your story breaks. The chemistry has faded and you begin to search for a better cooked version of a story than what you just spit up. 

For moments at a time, you fear that you have lost it. You have lost your storytelling abilities and you’re doomed to write basic, technical content for the rest of your life. Slowly, you lose conviction in being certain that you have something positive to say or perhaps something that people aren’t already bored to read. Every plot that you begin to create seems to already exist. 

A lack of creativity makes you more observational, yes, but you also lack the savviness in connecting the details that make a story. A man on a motorcycle is simply a man on a motorcycle and for all it’s worth, you forget to imagine where he is coming from and where is he off to. This is when you begin to wonder if you have to give up your “present” practice in order to keep the creative juices flowing. Work or inner peace, what’ll it be? 

I have always thought that the more confusing, unclear phases in life are very similar to writer’s block. Most of us panic when they’ve lost that sense of conviction and balance in our lives. Unnerved the reality that is uncertainty, we squirm, jumping from conclusion to conclusion, blaming things, themselves, and others.

But we all seem to forget that every part of life is just a phase, which is the very thing that writer’s block will teach you. It’s just part of the writing process and every time you come out of it, you learn that your focus needed to be on something else, even if it was just digesting the fogginess of writer’s block itself. 

Because on a random Sunday evening, when you have all but thrown out your pen, you come across an email from someone that you forgot to respond to weeks ago. In pajamas, you have nothing else to do, so in the most relaxed, unfocused manner, you dive into details about the day, the characters, and the spaces that you have filled in that days passed. Days you thought you were unable to connect and uninteresting. You realize that it was never turned “off.” As you begin to wrap up, you realize that you have written yourself a story. And just like that, you know what you want to say and when to say it. You begin to pull things out and push things in. You begin to sit up in your chair. You begin to elaborate with conviction. And without realizing, in a relaxed and unfocused manner, just like that, you begin to write again. TC mark

featured image – Sophia Louise

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