Hitting a Wall (finding excuses to not write)


I have no fewer than twelve posts that I’ve been planning to write (not counting all of the Star Trek: TOS episodes I’ve already watched and not written about yet), so I can’t blame lack of ideas for my sudden writer’s block.

Or lack of time, really. I have as much time as I ever do. More, maybe.

I know, you probably haven’t noticed that I’ve not been writing lately. I tend to fire off a lot of posts at once and then schedule them to release over time, usually no more than one a day, even if I write more than one. My muse, it seems, is cyclical. Or I’m a manic-depressive, if that’s still a thing. When I’m cruising at a creative high—in the zone, if you will—I can crank out thousands of words without breaking a sweat.

Then, occasionally, I’ll hit a wall and the words just won’t come.

I’ll have the best of intentions and sit down at the computer, prepared to write. Then, I’ll get struck by a stray idea and spend too much time researching it on the Internet. Or, I’ll watch another episode of Star Trek. Or, I’ll rework my schedule, the one I keep to plan what television shows or movies I’ll watch in the coming weeks. Or, I’ll sit and stare at the blank screen and do . . . absolutely . . . nothing.

You’re a writer. Perhaps you’ve danced with this particular devil in the pale moonlight.

It’s a maddening feeling, like an itch you can’t scratch. To have the desire, but apparently not the ability. Like Tantalus, when he reached for the fruit or stooped for the water, finding both eternally out of reach.

On many occasions, when I’m blocked like this, I’ll just spend more time reading. Reading will always eventually make me want to write. Or, I’ll work on a completely different project, like outlining a novel I’m planning to write, or writing a movie script or teleplay that will never see the light of day. Sometimes, I just write character sketches or descriptive passages that belong absolutely nowhere.

Sometimes I leave the printed word behind completely. When words are no longer close friends of mine, I might turn to music. I consider myself to be a musician. Now, real musicians might consider my definition of the word “musician” to be a bit too broad. But, I can create music. I’ve written original compositions, and also perform cover versions of other artists’ songs. Music taps into some of the creative juices that writing doesn’t.

Charles Bukowski once offered some advice about writer’s block that I’ve found very helpful.  In fact, I just followed his advice.

Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all” – Charles Bukowski 

I’ll get over it soon.  I always do.  Maybe it’s just the post-holiday blues.


One thought on “Hitting a Wall (finding excuses to not write)

  1. I don’t want to minimize your pain, my friend, but join ze club! You have just described where I’ve been for the past two years, and from what I’ve read and discussed with other writing friends, this is overwhelmingly common to writers. I’ve often told beginners I talk with that, “You don’t choose writing; writing chooses you,” and I suppose it’s possible for writing to choose to move on without you as well. I hope not, but my tank’s been empty for so long that I’m considering closing my blog. I wish you the very best combination of luck and fortune in finding your voice again (I love your TOS series!), but hey, musician is a popular vocation, ja?

    Liked by 1 person

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