Writer's Block

Writer's Block

What do you write about when you can't think of anything to write about?
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Writer’s block. The bane of my, and many others like me, existence. Some part of me that is usually functioning and flowing like a spinning wheel has stopped turning. The words aren’t coming. The ideas aren’t there. It’s like being lost in the middle of a forest with no map, no one to turn to, and nowhere to be, except this loss is within myself. My brain won’t cooperate with me, and the one thing I can always rely on-- writing-- is failing me. I am stuck.

The problem with writer’s block is not that you think you will never write again. Writers always know that this is just a period they have to get through, a part of the process, but that knowledge somehow makes it worse. You sit there, waiting and waiting for the spark of inspiration, but it’s humid outside and you have no flint and you haven’t seen civilization within 100 miles. You’re left sitting in the dark.

So we writers attempt to turn to the world around us. Nature, family, friends, or our favorite books and movies are all good places to start. But when what you normally depend on for motivation just doesn’t help you that day, you fall even further into this void of nothingness. You can’t trust your own brain or your loyal loved ones. You are an empty shell of what you once were.

Sometimes when writer’s block gets bad enough, we just spill words onto a page and hope for something great to present itself. I know what you’re thinking, and no, that is not exactly what I’m doing right now.

Okay, maybe it is.

But you can’t blame me. Everything I’ve ever fallen back on has proven unfaithful, dubious, dicey. Even my tried and true bedside notebook kept for 2 am bursts of thought has decided to stop speaking to me. So now I’m left speaking to myself.

I would go for a run, but it’s dark outside. I would just put off writing for later, but I have deadlines to meet. The time is now, but I have nothing to say.

It’s a strange feeling, to be silenced by your own words.

Writers try to find meaning in everything. They don’t see; they observe. When I see a leaf falling from a tree and I decide to write about it, I want to be able to pour out a rushing cascade of words about that dead plant, a stream of letters so empowering yet so haunting that my readers will be left breathless. The days I cannot leave others breathless with my words, it feels like I am not breathing at all.

And so it goes. Writer’s block is a not much of a feeling but more of a state, a state that no one should ever have to live in. The void has consumed me, and I must find a way to escape. It seems I must crawl on my stomach, scraping inch by inch, scaling the walls of nothingness until I see a light.

Or maybe this was all I needed -- to turn nothing into something, a struggle for words into an adventure. Maybe right now I am wandering through a stream of consciousness that means nothing, a thought process that leads to nowhere, a river of words that are a dead end, but as J.R.R. Tolkien wisely proposed, “Not all who wander are lost.” Sometimes we just have to take the long way ‘round.

Cover Image Credit: tumblr.com

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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