Several years ago, I took a refresher online writing class with a nomadic creative writing instructor. She was travelling throughout Mexico, it seemed a pleasure trip, while supplying lessons via the computer. She had a well-planned curriculum; there was homework and other requirements. I had virtual classmates and it was actually quite fun! It was a bonafide course offered by the local junior college with college credits.
My final paper was an essay on writer’s block with several works cited.
Following is an excerpt from that paper…
“There is no such thing as writer’s block,” I’ve been heard to say. “Think of it as a period of gestation, a between-world where something is brewing and you need to be patient while nurturing yourself.” I sympathetically add, “Do something else that is creative, just to keep the juices flowing, the channels open, blah, blah, blah.”
Here I am with this paper coming due and I find myself in a barren crevasse. I’ve done what any frustrated woman might do–I’ve air-popped a large bowl of salty popcorn with a compromise of coconut oil instead of butter. I know there’ll be a price to pay later–upset stomach and kernels wedged between my teeth–but right now, I’m desperate.
In her book, If You Want to Write, Brenda Euland has a chapter entitled “The Imagination Works Slowly and Quietly.” (24)
Writers do have to bank on this idea.
“You will sit before your typewriter or paper and look out of the window and begin to brush your hair absentmindedly for an hour or two. Never mind. That is all right…know in this dreamy time, that you are going to write, to tell something on paper, sooner or later.”
I’m sure if she could see me in this moment, stuffing fistfuls of popcorn into my mouth, she’d know that I am a writer in waiting.
For your journal. When you experience your version of writer’s block, how do you deal with it? How do you feel when you are in this state? Have you tried writing about this experience? Can you describe your writer’s block by writing down the details? Are there things you can liken it to–using simile, metaphor, personification? What is your recourse when you encounter this seemingly static energy?
Have fun exploring your brand of writer’s block reverie.
Perhaps this writing exercise is the breakthrough you need.