- Books, Literature, and Writing
Reflection: Writer's Block
I can’t deal with it anymore. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. With each ‘can’t’, I bang my head against the keyboard.
I rest my head on the keys for a long moment, then, with a sigh of resignation, I sit back up again.
My brain is clogged. Nothing is coming. I want to scream. I want to take up belly dancing, plumbing, anything but writing. Why did I do this? Why did I pick such an impossible career path?
Slowly, I start to type. It doesn’t matter what. Two pages, one dead character and a UFO later, I stop again. I do not let myself read it over, because I know what it will be like. My story is not made for UFOs, but I cannot part with the last two pages. For all I know, it will be the last two pages I ever write.
Just once, I think. I’ll open Facebook just for a minute. Let me check my e-mail.
But I can’t, because my clock is still telling me that I have another half hour until my five minute break. I know that if I check my e-mail, go to the bathroom, or in any way stop staring at Microsoft Word, I will never come back. I will want to clean the bathroom. I will start to read an article on Yahoo.
It’s stupid to try and write when there is nothing to write, I think. Then I smack myself in the forehead. Just go. Go. Write!
I spend another five full minutes staring at the screen, slowly deleting my UFO. Closing my eyes, I try to get into the ‘writing zone’ that I slipped into so easily yesterday. But I can’t. All I can think about is how I am suffering the worst disease known to writerkind.
The dreaded Writers Block.
It should be accompanied with scary music. But it isn’t. I consider turning my CD player on, but the last thing I need is to hear the Killers droning about beinghuman, or are we dancer? I do not need to be exposed to any more bad grammar!
My main character is right where I left him, staring listlessly at a wall. I wonder what is on the wall. But no ideas come. It is just a wall. I write a sentence to that effect, and then stop.
No one wants to hear about a wall. No one wants to write about a wall. And, since I feel that I am someone, I fall into both the above categories.
Think. Think. Think. But I can’t think. My inspirational glands are in full shut down.Think think think think.
All I can think about at this point is ticking off the time until I get my break. It is still fifteen long minutes away.
I can’t do this! Why did I put myself through school? Why did I pay for college, if the only place I got was sitting in front of a blank screen?
Shut up and write.
‘I can’t do this,’ I type. ‘This is stupid,’ I type. ‘ yytyhyhbbgb h’, I type. Then I hold down the delete key for a full ten seconds, watching in grim satisfaction as my previous words disappear into nothingness.
The minutes until break time slowly tick by, and I am gripped with a panic. What do I do? What do I do? How could I have possibly wasted a full hour with this? Surely there was some dramatic failing in me to get nothing done. Wasting time is not a good habit to get into.
My hand itches towards the internet key, but I refuse to press the button. Just once… It couldn’t hurt… go get something to eat… No. I must block the thoughts. I must continue staring at this screen until I go crazy. It’s my punishment for being a Dramatic Writing Failure.
Perhaps my plot should take a dramatic twist. The antagonist could sprout wings and fly around wreaking havoc. Except up until now, the antagonist had been quietly trying to take over a large company, while the protagonist had been trying to stop him.
Ghhhhghb my head is getting sore from all the pounding it’s been subjected to, and I worry that I am damaging my keys. Don’t do it, then. There must be a better way to knock some ideas from the far corners of my mind.
Why can’t I do this? I glance again at the clock. Just seven minutes left. I don’t think I can make it.
Face it. Give up. It’s hopeless. But I currently have one hundred and five thousand words on this project. Had I any less, the prospect of giving up would be more enticing. But I refuse to reconcile myself to the fact that I had been wasting my time.
Wasted time is not an option.
I continue to glower at my screen. Clippie pops up in the corner, and I almost snarl at him before I realize how insane I’m becoming. He’s just a stupid little animation.
Five minutes. Five minutes. I have wasted all my time.
The fact that this is a self-set schedule doesn’t make a difference. I refuse to let myself think that I really could change it around a little. That would be conceding defeat, and if I change it today, whose to say I won’t do it tomorrow, and the next? I can easily see my writing time shrinking smaller and smaller, until I become like that author Stephen King mentioned in his autobiography who only wrote seven words a day.
Of course, today I have probably written five words, not counting the UFO and thetgfrgtfggtf of my head against the keyboard.
I must get an idea, I think. I am not leaving this chair until I get an idea. But they continue to elude me. The more I grasp at them, the faster they pull away.Nooooooooo.
The timer beeps.
At last! I spring up from my chair, dashing into the kitchen and liberating a Hershey bar. I know I don’t deserve it—Hershey bars are reserved for reaching my goal—but I have a chocolate craving right now and I know that if I don’t get any I will be spending the rest of my life in front of the blank screen.
It is hopeless.
It is depressing.
It makes you question everything.
It is writers block.
I remember that Stephen King had a block for six weeks. No way. I couldn’t have it that long. It wasn’t possible. What had I done to deserve this torture?
Whatever it is, I'm sorry already.