Writer's Block is a Terrible Thing.

I find that I don’t write as much as I should, or want to, really. I keep reading advice on how to write: you just do. You designate a time and a place, and if you don’t feel inspired to write, you sit. You think. If you can’t find the inspiration on your own, you wait. You wait until it finds you.

I’ve tried to do that. I’ve tried to just sit and do nothing, waiting to rid myself of what could only be considered “writer’s block.” But the thing is, I have the story in my head. I’m thinking of it every second of every day, knowing that all I have to do is get it down on paper. So why can’t I just put it into words?

I have found plenty of excuses not to write.

Robert has the nice computer, and I can’t write using anything else.

Our apartment is too distracting. I need to get away from the TV and from my husband and all the chores that I need to do.

But Starbucks is too busy. Maybe I’ll try it at home again.

I have this scene in my head, but I need inspiration to build it. Let me browse the internet for a few hours minutes and see what I can come up with.

It’s recently hit me, though, what my biggest excuse is. And I don’t even know if it is an excuse. It’s more of a reason why I just can’t seem to finish this book.

I’m scared. I’m scared that I’m wasting my time doing something that will never get me anywhere in life. I’m scared that my story is stupid. But most of all, I’m scared that I’m not a good writer.

I’m terrified of that critique, the one where everything gets laid out, telling me that I’m terrible at writing.

That I shouldn’t consider myself a writer.

That I should just stop now.

But even if I stop writing it out and typing it up, I’ll never stop creating the story. Because it’s in my head. It’s real. To me, at least. And I desperately hope that someday it's real to someone else too.

*     *     *     *     *

Do you consider yourself a writer? How do you find the inspiration? Do you struggle with these feelings too?

Because I don’t like these feelings. And I would really like them to go away.



andrea n. townsend said...

I just wrote the longest comment ever and it was RIDICULOUS, so...check your email. :)

The gist: I feel the same way. You're not alone. And you can't even stop writing.

Kristina said...

I get writers block too, even on my simple little blog. I'll be honest, I have written multiple chapters, got stuck in a rut for quite some time and deleted it. all of it. One day I decided I didn't want that story, or whatever, and it was gone...period. back to square one. So, I don't suggest doing that. hehe.

Something I do for inspiration is this: I keep a index card box, full of sections and inspirations. So, one section is descriptions of people. One is descriptions of feelings, one section is descriptions of nature, surrounding, etc. and I keep all these different sections and ideas for when I need them the most. and it helps. a lot sometimes.

Emily Marie said...

Does it help that I loved your writing about not knowing what to write? :) I know how you feel though, I get writers block too. I tend to use a lot of images because I feel that they speak better than I can write.
You do such a great job on your blog!

Amanda said...

I think that EVERY writer struggles with this. At least every writer I've known. If you have a story, tell it. Don't second guess yourself. Because chances are, it's a great story, and other people will think so too. That's the only advice I have; just keep going. The lovely thing about writing is you can always edit. Write it out now, and if in a week you want to tweak something, you can.That seems to take the pressure off, for me at least. I hope this helps. Please don't get discouraged! You're living my dream. I only wish I had enough courage to fully pursue writing as much as you are! Good luck Joelle!


cashmereandcandy said...

A little bit ago, I offered a gig to write...and that has been the ROUGHEST experience I've had. Soooo many doubts. I am actually embarassed if co-workers find out, or even friends. Because when it's get finished in a bazillion years, I'm afraid for anyone I know to actually read it. Which is the exact opposite of what we want - right? This backwards thinking is usually the encouragement for me to put pen to pad.

Hang in there, your writing is phenom. And like you said....you KNOW it. Do what you know.


beka said...

i read a quote one time: writer's block is the fear of your writing not being good enough; what you say not being worthy of the paper you write it on...
i have felt the same way!
but you're valuable, you're YOU and you're wonderful. so...the words you write, the little inspiration that blows up even bigger, the spur-of-the-moment writing that will someday, sometime turn into an hour of writing, is going to be good.
it will be good enough.
you can do it:)

Eschelle said...

If you have a journal or laptop I suggest taking it on a little walk finding a nice place on a sunny day in a park or on hill. Pack a nice lunch or snack and just sit. Maybe somewhere completely serene and out of your element will help.

Rebecca said...

With the inspiration well, like everyone else has already said, it comes and everyone whose ever tried to write has had to deal with it. Personally when I'm feeling a bit of block I watch my favourite movie or play my favourite game (haha the sims, it's full of inspirational little moments!). For my hubby, he writes something completely different, inconsequential and fun that he has no intention of working on professionaly at all just to jog his brain a bit. I don't do that myself because I get completely side tracked but you never know it might work for you, try writing something different for a change, even just a small poem or a short story of a few hundred words, you never know!

You also seem to be feeling insecure about the quality of your work as much as having a creative block...also something that probably everyone who ever tried to write has had issues with! The thing with anything that you do is that it gets better with practise...whatever you think of your story or writing style now, it can only get better the more you work at it! You can't be afraid of "is this lame" because if you are taken by this fear you will never show your work to anyone, and how can you improve if you do not show your work and take honest criticism to show you where you are going wrong and what you are doing right...we learn just about everything else in our lives like this, writing is no different!

You CAN do it, you just need to take in some nice deep breaths and dive on in!

Maria said...

The fear is natural. For me, these feelings come and go. The only way I'm able to conquer them is by walking away from my laptop or putting down my pen and paper and keeping myself occupied with something else (usually cooking, baking, or reading). Sometimes I find that diverting my attention somewhere else for a little while is all I need to get past my writer's block. There's so much inspiration in the quiet moments of everyday life, and besides, your mind feels less pressure to come up with a good story when it has the freedom to wander (the computer screen oftentimes just suffocates it!).

Anyone who loves words and is willing to put them down on paper to tell a story is a writer. YOU are a writer. And as long as you're committed to your piece, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. It's your story, and there's always time to perfect it... just keep going :)

inHERshoes said...

i write about whatever speaks to me. i don't find the time, when the idea finds me, then i find the time. i'm not patient to sit and muddle through what i'm going to be writing about.

Sweet Green Tangerine said...

I experience this constantly and I totally get your fears. My personal hold up is that while the stories are in my head they're mine but once I put them out there, they're on their own out in the world to critiqued and analyzed and that is scary to me. I hope you get passed this block and find the strength and inspiration you need. *hugs*

Raven said...

I do consider myself a writer, and like you, I would get nervous about what others would think of my writing or if what I was saying was interesting enough, but what I found out was if I just let all that go and write what I FEEL, everything works out like it should :)

aliceinwaiting said...

I don't struggle with feeling like a terrible writer so much as I struggle with feeling like a terrible worker. I have horrible management skills in that I make it more difficult than necessary to make time to write. I can do it when it's for a grade and make it come out great, but I really have to discipline myself to make it come out on my own knowing that it's not for a grade, it's just for me to send out and let somebody say they either want or don't want to represent it.

Self-discipline is the one thing I really have to work on this summer, because if I let another summer go by without working on my own book, I will be so angry at myself and I don't know when I'll ever get it done. The thing is, all time is going to be the wrong time. You have to make time for writing. That's why it's so hard to be a writer. It's a desk job you go to everyday where you have to get stuff done or your boss fires you. You have to make it work on your own time. I think that's why people have such difficulty with it.