Actually, the title is a little misleading as I had lots of ideas and the few times I’ve had writer’s block before, it was because I was stuck… I couldn’t think what came next in the story or I couldn’t write the chapter the way I wanted to (i.e. I would write a few pages and then delete it all because I wasn’t happy with it). That’s what writer’s block used to mean to me. And it was ALWAYS creative writer’s block – always about my novel or short stories.
This past month was the first time in my writing career that I was having problems just writing… anything. I would sit and stare at my computer when trying to write an event review or an article about Korean food. Even writing promo articles about Korean events in Toronto was like pulling teeth. My mind just couldn’t or wouldn’t focus on the task at hand. This had never happened before. I love writing!
But I had lots of ideas…
I think when I walk and come up with new ideas for articles or stories and there were lots of ideas flowing… but none of them wanted to come when I sat down in front of my laptop. I tried different locations, different teas (I drink tea when writing normally), even simply putting pen to paper. But nothing was working.
The frustration was killing me
But then I realized why it was happening. And I wanted to smack myself. The reason I spent a month staring at a blank screen was because I didn’t want to be a bitch (sorry, there is no other word that fits). You see a month ago, when this all started, the guy I was dating broke up with me. It was a short relationship and I wasn’t particularly hurt over it ending but I was angry over HOW he ended it (and at myself as well). But I have always tried really hard not to write negative stories – personal or otherwise – so I didn’t write about it. And the story festered… and dug in its feet and said “fine, don’t write about me… but if you don’t, I won’t let you write… period”. Overly dramatic, maybe. But after I finally wrote it down and acknowledged my anger – at the breakup method, yes, but more so at myself – I was finally able to write again.
If something is stuck in my head or if I’m feeling strongly about an idea, story or emotion; I need to write about it. Perhaps it’s time to stop being so nice… about that I haven’t fully decided. But I will never let something fester inside simply because I don’t want to be a little mean. Besides, this is the first time in almost 10 years that I’ve had this problem so the chances that I’ll need to be mean again is slim. The real lesson has nothing to do with being nice or mean… but rather the lesson is about listening to my inner muse and following what he’s shouting at me. [Side note: yep, my inner muse is a guy who looks a lot like Tae Yang from Big Bang (with the mohawk, not the crazy-ugly double braid).]
What was blocking my writing?
So I was dating this guy for a few weeks and we would text/message several times a day. Then all of a sudden he stopped communicating… totally… even when I text or messaged him. I didn’t hear from him for almost five days and I was worried. Finally, I get this long message saying basically he needed time to think. I flipped. I was furious, not because he was breaking up with me… I had thought about it myself because I knew the relationship wasn’t going anywhere.
No, I was furious with how he did it. Dude, grow a pair. If you want to break up, just do so. Don’t simply stop talking to me. Which is what I said back. Remember, I said I lost my temper… I really, really did. We haven’t spoken since and I’m okay with that. But then I got angry with myself for being so trusting and letting the situation piss me off so much and for being so naive that I didn’t suspect anything. And yeah, my pride took a hit too.
What I didn’t realize was that my anger over the situation would poison my writing. But then, I almost never lose my temper. Oh, I get annoyed with things just like everyone else but I have a very long fuse on my temper and rarely lose it. Lesson learned… don’t keep anger bottled up.
But it’s not all bad
One good thing did come from all of this. Hey, I’m a ‘glass half full’ kind of girl so looking on the bright side of things is much more nature to me than being bogged down in anger. It was fun being in a relationship again even if it wasn’t serious which led me to the realization that I really do need to put myself out there again. For real, not just talk about dating and make a couple of half-hearted efforts.
My friends joke that I’m Raj from Big Bang Theory. There’s a bit truth to that as while I have no trouble talking to guys, I find it difficult to start a conversation with any guy I find attractive without liquid courage. There’s a guy I’ve had a crush on for a year & a half but even though we are “Facebook friends”, we’ve never talked… it’s time I changed that.
But more than anything, I’m glad I’m not staring at a blank screen and the words are flowing again. Time to clear the backlog of articles I have floating in my brain for ATK Magazine.
What about you? Have you ever had problems writing? Writer’s block? What caused your writing problems?