Friday, April 27, 2012

Razor's Edge: When Writing Feels Dead

I'm not talking about when what you're writing feels like it is going nowhere.

That could be writer's block.

I'm not talking about when you're reading a book and you couldn't care less about the characters or the plot and you either fall asleep or put the book down to go scrub the kitchen floor.

That could be lousy writing or you're just not in the mood for that story.

I'm not talking about not having ideas or wondering if your writing is any good.

That, too, could be writer's block.

I'm talking about the process of writing not being there. Like there is a steel wall, as a writer friend recently said, and you can't get through it to write. Which is different than writer's block; the material is just not available. I have another writing acquaintance who said something similar to that about her process of writing - or not writing.

That is where I am right now. With my writing/not writing.

I can look at what has been happening and say, "ah, yes, Miss Dot, I see here where this has been going on and so you have no time to write." But this is more than that. Or I can review it again and say, "oh, it's the distractions and the responsibilities, and you can't focus." But it is more than that. I could even look at recent events and say, "Ah, yes, triggers are all around you and frequently and so it makes it difficult to find material you deem reasonable that others may want to read." And it is definitely more than that.

The triggers are true. The disappointment is true. The overwhelmed and anxious state is true. The disillusionment that change can happen is true.

That I'm blocked and having nothing to write about is not true. Ideas are there. I still jot a few notes, send emails to my secret saving writing ideas email folder, observe people and place around me and think of titles.

It feels like there is no point to writing.

It feels like I am doomed to have writing in the background. Especially now that I'm still dealing with the health situation, which has become even more complicated now that I've received a definitive statement of treatment from the MD side of my health care, and begun researching alternatives and have met with a Naturopathic specialist in the area of where my treatment needs lie. More medical appointments and a long list of tests mean more money going out, means more working, means ... etc ... you get the drift. Right?


Yes. The desire is there although there is just a tip sticking up through the ground I feel like I'm barely grasping at this point. The desire; or remembering the desire. The hope faded to a grayscale image; the goals feeling unrealistic or pointless.

This is just today. And a few other days recently. Sometimes the writing is there because of a reminder of the book on my bedside table. Or the new "Plotto" I bought a couple of months ago which is sitting on my needs-to-be-cleaned-off desk. Or the two new writing books on their way to me now. The Poets & Writers, The Writer, and Writer's Digest which arrive monthly or bimonthly. The blogs I follow. The writing/writers Facebook groups of which I'm a member.

So here I'm writing. Confessing that I'm not doing much writing. That at this moment I don't have a sense of what stories are ready to go and which need a lot of work or a little work.

Telling you that sometimes writing feels foreign. Like something I did in another life; which is also true. I've done it in various stages of my life. Set it aside; picked it up. Tried again. Improved. Enjoyed the process and published some and trashed some.

And this time I'm not letting go. But at this moment - I'm not blocked. But my writing feels dead. Except that I maybe just tricked my "Woe is me; where is my inspiration and motivation?" brain into writing. That works sometimes for me - kind of not looking and just going ahead and doing, pretending I'm not.

This is me. Today. This feeling will fade and I'll be glad. I don't like feeling like there is no hope or reason to write. Not that I can't write - but that I shouldn't and there is nothing there to write from.

And since this is Razor's Edge Friday, I poked around online and found a few Writer's Block help websites. Just for fun. There are many, many more, I'm sure. These are just a handful I found (again, for some) today.

. 911 Writers Block : I found this site a while ago; I like the fun format and there are some good prompts.
. LEO: Literacy Education Online: Overcoming Writer's Block

. The Writer's Block
.The 10 Types of Writers’ Block (and How to Overcome Them)
. An Top 10 Tips for Overcoming Writer's Block
. Serendipitous Simile Generator for Stories  

What are some of your ways to break through the barriers, the writer's blocks, the disappearing act of language, etc? What works for you?