This is a blog about my obsessions, whatever they may be.

May 12, 2010



I refuse to call it writer's block.

But I do experience periods of time that I call unwriting.

During those periods, I simply do not write.

Hence, unwriting.

They aren’t a lot of fun. I have had 'Write every day' bopped into my head every day since I began six years ago -- OMG six years ago!


There is a TED video in which Elizabeth Gilbert says it is freeing to acknowledge a higher power in your creative work. 

And I guess in a way, it's true.

But all things are best in moderation. 


Sarah Monette:

Treating writer's block as (1) monolithic and (2) reified--I have WRITER'S BLOCK! Woe! Woe is me for I cannot write!--only makes it harder to figure out what the problem is. It also feeds into a number of toxic myths about writing, which we may call either Shelley's Revenge or the Hemingway Trap, depending on whether we want to see it as yet another hangover of Romanticism or as the thing that killed Hemingway. But the idea that creativity controls the writer--which is EXACTLY the idea behind the pernicious anthropomorphism of The
Muse--cannot help but lead to mystification and reification of writer's block, turning it from a problem into an insurmountable, career-ending disaster.

I'm personally inclined to agree with Ms Monette -- she of the Mirador quartet -- as opposed to Ms Gilbert.

I've been a more consistent writer since I gave up the idea of having a Muse -- which I took to ridiculous heights involving multiple neuroses in my late teens.


I try, as much as I can, to consider the time spent away from writing to be an investment.

Time to find mind fodder for your under mind and time for your under mind to chew through that mind fodder.

It's hard, when you're struggling and especially when you're facing a deadline.

Sitting there and banging your head on the wall isn't always a solution either. It's right in front of you, mocking you. If anything, it's a waste of time, and worse, I suspect it sometimes makes things worse.  


The guilt, the self-recrimination...that's the worst, isn't it?

I suck. I'm such a terrible writer. Why do I even bother? This is such a waste of time!

But here's the thing: it's only a waste of time if you quit, and if you quit, you will always be a terrible writer.

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