So THIS is What ‘Writer’s Block’ Is – An IWSG Post

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This past month – January of 2017 – I learned something both important and very, very disquieting. What is this newfound knowledge? Well, it’s information about myself. And that information is that I have never, until just recently, actually experienced writer’s block.

Throughout the years I have claimed, on numerous occasions, to have been suffering from writer’s block. I’ve had awful months during which I wrote next to nothing, and I’ve had months during which my own works-in-progress made me want to put my head through a wall. I’ve had as many issues concerning my writing as any writer can claim to have had, and I’ve often lumped those problems under a blanket statement of, “I’ve got major writer’s block right now”.

But now I know that I’ve never truly suffered from writer’s block – not until this particular past month.

You see, despite both a desire and a determination to start taking my writing more seriously, I wrote a grand total of 358 words of fiction throughout the entire month of January, and depressingly, that wasn’t for lack of trying. I did find January to be a particularly busy month, so it would be easy to blame that for my lack of productivity, but it would be a lie, because I did, in fact, sit down to write multiple times. And each of those times I opened Scrivener, my hands hovered above the keyboard, and I wrote positively nothing.

I’ve never experienced this phenomenon before – this strange emptiness of mind. Several times this past month I’ve stared at blank screens, my brain completely and utterly empty and unwilling to offer anything at all, until I eventually gave up and closed Scrivener.

The words just won’t come.

I’ve even tried hopping between works-in-progress in the hopes that one of them would spark something, anything… But alas. For the first real time in my life, my creative well is totally dry. I have nothing to say. And that both scares and bewilders me.

11 thoughts on “So THIS is What ‘Writer’s Block’ Is – An IWSG Post

  1. That is scary. I’ve never had writer’s block either. Normally when I can’t write I do what you do and hop between projects or do something different. There’s always something that I can write.

    I hope you find your way through it, and I would definitely count this blog post as writing, if that helps.

    • Oh, don’t worry, I definitely count my blog posts as writing. lol It’s not fiction writing though, which makes me grumpy. XO
      I’m hoping that things will clear up in February. @_@

  2. Hello, Tracey. If you’ll forgive a little armchair psychology, is it possible your brain is just overstuffed at the moment? I’ve found it difficult to resist the siren song of social media and news, what with recent events. It took me a while to return to writing fiction. Reading some light-hearted stories helped. I wish you a speedy recovery from your current blockage. Maybe some purposely bad writing will help?

    • Hmm…purposely bad writing…that might be something. lol
      I can’t argue that my brain is probably overstuffed, although it’s been that way for a while so I’m not sure why it would suddenly be affecting me like this. Maybe I just need to sit down and do some reading to get my brain back into the “write” way of thinking.
      Either way, thanks for your thoughts and wishes. ^_^

  3. I don’t think I’ve had writer’s block that bad. I know that on some occasions, I have sat down at my computer and after doing some mindless editing (which I do not do anymore. I save for the second round), I would have problems picking up the current thread.

    It sounds like part of the problem is that you have so much stuff going on that when you finally find the time to write, you don’t/can’t. Perhaps if you just concentrated on writing blog posts it might jump start your regular writing. Not to publish just yet, but simple rough drafts that you can stash on your computer somewhere until the time is ripe.

    This is always works for me.

    • I’ll definitely take the idea under advisement! Honestly I’ve been avoiding the blog for quite a while now because I want any writing time to be spent writing BOOKS, but with the way things have been going this past month maybe I should just give in and allow myself to write ANYTHING.
      You’re definitely right that I’ve got too much going on, but none of it is stuff that I’m willing to give up on, so I guess I’ve just got to press through. @_@ Wish me luck! lol

  4. I have experience it a few times when life has really thrown me for a loop with a depressing effect, but I wait it out, do little things even if it is only 358 words that is writing, so its still there. You mind may just need a break. Hope you feel better about it all soon.
    Happy IWSG Day!
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

    • Thanks for the kind words, Juneta. 🙂 Things have been a little stressful of late, but hopefully things will calm down in February and I’ll be able to get something on the paper/screen here and there.

  5. When I was feeling blocked, I moved to a different location and even went old school with a legal pad to get the juices flowing. The best thing I found was to deny myself writing time for a few days. The ideas were screaming to get out.

    • Well, I’m going to say that denying myself writing time won’t help, because I’m denied writing time on a pretty-much weekly basis. lol Going old school might help though. I write with a pen and pad regularly, when I’m traveling and the like, but I haven’t done so for a few months now since I’ve been home (with my laptop) the entire time. Maybe I’ll give that a try. ^_^ Thanks!

  6. I feel like writer’s block means something different for each of us. What you’re experiencing… I don’t think I’ve ever been through something like that. Usually my version of writer’s block fades within a few hours–a day at the most–after I’ve spent some time doing other things. I hope your writer’s block will go away soon!

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