Friday, April 22, 2011

"Writer's Block"

So, I'm listening to NPR and doing nothing instead of studying for my exams and writing, like I should be. And the thought occurs to me, a thought that has probably stabbed you in the arm a few million times if you're a writer like myself or something that has never occurred to you, as you are a reader, absorbing the fruits of whoever you're reading being stabbed a few million times.

Is there such a thing as writer's block? 

I'm inclined to say yes. I'm inclined to say, of course there is! Then I have a reason to not write for two weeks straight and not plot enough and not fall asleep thinking about all the different possible outcomes of my current WIP. Then I have an excuse to everyone who asks, "Hows the writing going?"

I'll just frown and say, "Writer's block." They'll nod, like they completely understand. Which most probably don't, aside from my few friends who do write. And that's fine! Keeping those out of the know makes it seem more legitimate.

But when I open up a new Word document or peruse an old one, kind of whispering to myself all of things I've written down before, I have to concede that I don't really believe in writer's block. I believe in my inner editor, who wants everything figured out before I put the words down on the page, who wants every plot point tucked neatly into that corner of my brain labeled 'Writing', who would rather not write anything at all if it's not going to be perfect. I believe in my lust for words, in loving them so much that when I read a good, wordy book (and not even anything ridiculously literary - Deb Caletti satisfies this for me!), I gobble those finely-structured sentences up and then pick them apart in my brain. I believe in not having ideas, which is not writer's block, not at all. Because the absence of ideas is when you break out your Moleskine and do freewrites or when you write poetry about how the summer sun looks outside, while you sit, dipping your feet inside of a fountain.

But writer's block? No. Writer's block is writer-slang for being afraid or for being lazy or for beating yourself up for not writing everything perfectly. Writer's block is an excuse, and I refuse to make excuses.

What do you think? Am I just talking out of my butt?

No comments:

Post a Comment