Writers Block

writers block

All week long, I’ve been thinking about a topic to write about. The way this normally works, assuming I don’t have a burst of inspiration and post twice in the same week, is I start musing about potential topics on Monday, commit to an idea by Wednesday or Thursday, and start writing so I can release the post by no later than the end of the week. Sometimes the process is easy. When this occurs, a thought will either pop in my head out of nowhere, or I will read a post from one of the blogs I follow that generates a lead I can work from.

During the rare weeks where I have a lot of ideas to choose from, I will take the topics I passed on and save them in an “idea” folder. It is not uncommon to have a week where I don’t have a lead or any inspiration, so it is convenient to have this well to draw from.

So far, this process has served me well because I have never been lacking for a subject, until now. This week, I am hopefully stuck, and am experiencing the dreaded writer’s block.

Oh, I had a topic that I actually started with a paragraph or two, but the words are flowing as easy as refrigerated honey, and I do not want to continue on that path.

I really admire prolific writers. First of all, the actual task of getting something down is not as easy at it looks, and to do it several days a week or, in the case of novelists who churn out a book every year or two, it takes a lot of creativity, enthusiasm and discipline. It also requires a lot of time, which is not readily available when you are also working full-time.

So here I am, sitting at the keyboard with a screen and a mind that are both blank, and I hear the proverbial clock ticking that whispers “Uh, Steve….you need to bang something out.”

Everyone’s writing process is different. What I typically do, once I decide on a topic, is to stop thinking and start typing. I don’t care how well the words sound or how well the draft is written. Quite frankly, the first draft is usually something that would make my English professors cringe. But that doesn’t matter because once the words are down I’ll let them sit for twenty four hours, and look at them the next day with a fresh pair of eyes. This allows me to take the written lump of clay I deposited the previous day and mold it into something worth reading.

Sometimes, the first draft is easy and very little editing is required the following day. Sometimes it is painful and the next day results in what amounts to a complete re-write. Most of the time the reality is somewhere in the middle, where the initial thoughts are there but require a little thinking, and the next day’s editing is moderate.

But all of this is irrelevant if you don’t have a subject matter, and that is my current status. I could take the easy way out, skip a week, and wait for the inspiration to come, but I’ve committed to posting something every week. So I am forced to think outside the box, which is not a particular strength. The result? To write about that fact that I have nothing to write about.

Obviously, this is not my job. I don’t draw any income from this nor do I have bosses demanding something to publish. Yet I still feel the pressure to produce, so I can only imagine what it must feel like if you have a publisher or editor breathing down your neck. How can you not admire or respect professional writers and columnists who not only have to answer to a production schedule, but are also expected to churn something out that is relevant and captivating?

The hard thing about writers block, at least for me, is that the more you try to break through, the harder it is to come up with something. It’s like eating soup with a fork, or herding cats. The longer I try to force the issue, the more stuck and frustrated I become. At the present moment, I feel like banging my head against something hard or gouging out my eyeballs.

It has not been uncommon for me to start writing about something, but lose my mojo, leave it unfinished, and save it in the idea folder I previously mentioned. Unfortunately, there currently aren’t many options to choose from in that repository, I’m not feeling any love for the few things that are there, and no epiphany is on the horizon to change that. For the first time, I am about as stuck as a person can be, don’t have the luxury of time to figure it out, and am therefore not going to fight it anymore.

If I am in the same boat next week, I may have to write after I have taken a dose of MMJ to see if any inspiration follows. I’ve done this once before, but it was intentional. You see, I already had an idea that lent itself to doing that.

So, for the sake of following my own production schedule, this is my first, and hopefully only, Seinfeld-like post about nothing.

Meanwhile, thoughts and prayers to everyone in the Florida panhandle area that have to pick up from Hurricane Michael. The pictures from the Panama City area look terrible, and, if I’m not mistaken, that is where Alex lives.

Hey girl, I hope you and yours are safe and sound, and that your house is still intact. Let us know soon, please.

 

Author: Steve Markesich

I am loving husband, a doting father, a Red Sox fanatic, an aspiring novelist and MS advocate. Feel free to check out my stevemarkesich.com web site.

18 thoughts on “Writers Block”

  1. “About nothing” was the original tagline for my entire blog. 😉

    You did a marvelous job, my friend, of turning “nothing” into something worth reading and considering. I’ve been there. I’ll bet just about everybody who reads this has. Like you, I have a “at least once a week” schedule (but almost never more than twice a week) and sometimes, like the last few weeks, I have nothing pulling me in. But for me, I just have my mind on other things; I don’t feel much like writing, right now. And that’s okay. I will. But it’s just different.

    One more note: as expected, my writing process is almost entirely opposite of yours. Around Monday I start to think about Thursday (if I don’t already have something brewing) but I always say “I’ll think of something on Thursday.” And once I start, I MUST get it published that morning. I hate sitting on it for a day. 🤣

    Funny how different we all can be.

    Thanks for forcing yourself to the task, Steve. There is a lot here that I can use!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I am right there with you, Steve. I have a massive headache from so many hours of banging my head against that wall. But, now that you have written this post, I feel better in knowing that I am not the only one who gets so incredibly stuck….but, I think this post shows that you have become unstuck. See, even this comment is totally uninspired. I think the whole writing this was some sort of crazy dream…….Thank you for this post, my friend!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was literally looking at a blank page until I decided to write about the fact I couldn’t think of anything to write about. The best thing to do would have been to have the title with a blank page below it

    Like

  4. You write about nothing better than I could even imagine. Thanks for the inspiration, Steve! Truly. I have been stuck for months and have no clue what to write about because I have no idea what it is that I wish to say. Suppose the key, as you say, is just to get the words on paper. I am going to do that, and see if I can write something out of nothing!

    Liked by 1 person

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