Storyteller’s Howl: Perils Of Writer’s Block

Friday, May 18, 2012

To someone who fancies themselves a professional writer, there’s nothing worse than writer’s block. Except perhaps total creativity block – which I struggled with for some time. Now, though, it seems to be flat writer’s block. I have ideas, I have things I want to do, but when I sit down to write them the words just don’t flow.

It’s almost worse when the words DO flow, only for me to get interrupted by one thing or another. Annoying things like eating, and going to the bathroom, little biological necessities like drinking water and making sure I’m not passing out at the keyboard. It’s so inconvenient to be a living being, sometimes. 😛 But in all honesty, more often than not the distractions are my own issue. I need to research something, so I pull up the internet, do some research – and then it’s 2 hours later because I got distracted following a link trail and forgot what I was doing. When I get back to my word document, usually, the inspiration has passed and I’ve forgotten where I was going with the scene.

…I just did that in the middle of writing this blog. I paged off to talk to my best friend about a dream she had, and came back to have forgotten where I was going with this…

OH! Now I remember. It doesn’t help that my old standby for helping me write – listening to music – isn’t something I can DO for the majority of the day. I can’t have my headphones on while I need to be answering the phone for work because I don’t hear it ring and get to it fast enough when I do. So I don’t have musical inspiration for artwork or writing…and when I get to the time of day after work when I can have headphones on, there are other things I need to be doing – commitments to other people, even – that I need to take care of. For instance, tonight we have our weekly raid. I’m the main tank. If I get struck with inspiration mid-Raid, I can’t stop to page over and type a few paragraphs in word…Not unless I want the party to wipe. Which I don’t.

Sometimes the inspiration for a short story is enough to let me push past the need for musical inspiration…in which case you get short little fanfictions, like the WoW ones I’ve written recently. But lately I’m a little stuck. I need to be rewriting Tigerwolf – I KNOW that. But I can’t seem to make myself work on it. I need to be figuring out a sequel to To The Third Power – I know that, but I can’t seem to figure out a good villain or a plot. I need to be working on original fiction, not fanfiction…but I have no inspiration.

And thus are the perils of writer’s block…in some cases, it’s even worse than writer’s flood (the feeling of having TOO MANY good ideas, to the point that your brain gets overwhelmed and you can’t write), because at least when I’m suffering from that, I KNOW what I want to write, and it’s just a matter of parring down my brain until I can get an individual story down on paper. But when there’s writer’s BLOCK…nothing’s coming, nothing’s there. There’s the drive and the knowledge that I need to be doing something…but an utter inability to do so.

To put it mildly…there’s an overabundance of frustration. And as of right now, I can’t seem to get away from it.

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