Everybody’s heard of it: the dreaded writer’s block. And it’s called a block for a reason. It stops up every passage in your brain and shuffles around your memories and vocabulary like stale dinner on old china. It’s like constant rejection. You are telling yourself, “No. Not this. Not today.”
As a writer, I like to complain. I like to procrastinate. I want to give up. I want to succumb to the block and allow myself to become walled up inside my own being. I feel numb to the emotions and the tastes of possibility. I feel myself deteriorate. It’s a terrible feeling, because I think I’m letting myself down. I feel like the weaker person. I don’t feel like a superhero. I feel lesser.
Those are the hard days. Those are the days when I have to slug and grind and work. I have to write like I’m bleeding slowly, like every word is a dribble from arthritic fingers and I move in slow motion. Nothing comes easily and I have to focus. I have to keep myself moving. I make it happen.
And then there are the easy days. There are the days when I wake up and I have ten different ideas. I can hardly wait for the time it takes to power up my laptop to start writing. I am itching to start, eager to begin. It’s powerful and probably better than any high I could get from illegal substances. And these are the lucky days. These are the days I am proud to call myself a writer and I am proud of my work and I am proud of the content I produce. Sentences sit already baked and steaming in my mind and all I have to do is plate them onto the page.
Despite this, despite my unconscious separation of hard and easy days, in the end, they are just days. They are each 24 hours long and they start with the sun rising, and end with the sun setting. In each and every one of these days, I am a writer. Sometimes I am a better writer, but I remain a writer as long as I continue to write. Sure, it’s easier to feel like a writer on the days it all comes together, but the days when I struggle, the days when I fight for it, those are the days that have conditioned me.
It’s hard work, writing. You have to distill every feeling until you can describe it at its purest form. You have to create and edit and critique until you become unsure of yourself and doubtful of your talent. You ask other people to peel back the layers of your work and to rip it apart. And then you rebuild it again and again, even though it will never be perfect. But if you do it, if you push yourself, you’ll find that it’s rewarding work. It’s satisfying. It is incredible to call yourself a writer.