Writer's block is the dreaded two-letter term you never really want to mention in front of a writer. It's the curse that has plagued us since the dawn of time, causing bouts of crippling self-doubt, sorrow, and insurmountable exasperation. The proverbial "they" (aka the magical wizards and/or liars who never get writer's block) say that "writer's block" doesn't exist — that it's just a form of temporary exhaustion or a feeble attempt to get out of writing. But I'm telling you it's real. It's real and it's terrible.
Writer's block is the reason why we have motivational, collective writing projects like NaNoWriMo, or writing apps like A Novel Idea, or iDeas for Writing — they "force" us to just dig in and keep digging, no matter how awful we feel about our work.
Since participating in NaNoWriMo is something you're supposed to do for yourself, you shouldn't feel guilty or pressured about your creative process, right? Well, we writers find a way. Because if there's room to feel insecure about our novel, our short stories, our poems, or our screenplays, we are bound to feel it. But don't worry. You're not alone. So many of us get writer's block! In fact, I had total writer's block before I wrote this, so hey. Here are the thoughts we all have when we experienced writer's block:
I am a failure and disgrace to all writers. I shouldn't even be allowed to call myself a "writer"
Maybe I'll go to the gym and if I elliptical hard enough, I’ll get my creativity back
...Maybe I’ll clean my office
Eh, eff it. While I’m at it, might as well clean the house
Wow, cleaning provides such an emotional cleanse. Who knew?
Maybe I’ll write about that
No, that’s trite
If only I could just come up with the perfect verb, you know? Like, all it takes is one word and boom
I’ll just start a new story
This novel is going nowhere good
Nope. Not feeling it
I’ll go make like ten pots of coffee
Wow! I'm thinking about all the things at once, but none of those are about my novel! Why have you forsaken me, caffeine?!
Alcohol was clearly the way to go. Lesson learned
OK fine, I’ll try some writing exercises
“Write from the perspective of your cat” Yeah, okay this should be easy
*Starts writing* This is garbage
Whatever, no one cares about what cats think
I’m going to hate-stalk some people on Facebook and maybe my fury will inspire me
Nope, I just feel pissed and emotionally violated now even though I brought it upon myself.
Okay girl, just write one paragraph and you can go eat some ice cream
Well that was simple. I need to just reward myself more often
*Rereads paragraph* Okay that was just awful *Delete delete delete*
Meh, I’ll go read for a while
*Puts down East of Eden*
Ah! Maybe I’ll write about two sisters. One is inherently good, while the other is kind of shifty. They have a crazy mom
I should see what’s happening on Twitter
Oh god. Everyone #iswriting
I should compose a tweet that at least makes it seem like I’m having a lucrative writing day
You know what? I’ll go grab a chai latte and do some people-watching
*Arrives at Starbucks*
There are like three sweaty runners here and teenagers studying for their math tests. You people don't inspire me at all. Thanks for nothing
I’m never going to be a good writer *sobs* I obviously should have become an accountant
*Googles famous writers who have had writer’s block*
Wow. Almost every single well-known writer has felt my agony. This is excellent news
Hmm… I want to come up with one more, but ugh... damn you writer's block
Images: Sharon Drummond/Flickr; Giphy(16)