474. Writer’s Block

Sometimes people don’t have anything they feel like writing about. That’s my problem right now. I’ve been having computer trouble for almost a week, and during that week, I assumed that articles were growing in my mind, and that I would have all kinds of things to write about as soon as my computer was back where it should be. I thought I’d get back on schedule in no time, and still be able to meet my self-imposed deadline – finish article #500 by April 30.
This morning, I woke up, had breakfast, and sat down to write. I started to write an article about what good friends teachers can be. Then I decided that that article wouldn’t work right now. Not that I don’t think teachers can be good friends. Just that it wouldn’t turn into a good article right now. I started one about music, art, movement, and poetry – about the difficulties involved in getting the community to realize the importance of subjects and activities that probably aren’t going to have significant effects on children’s SAT scores.
Subject after subject entered my mind, and some of them got me to start writing, but I write best when I feel some passion about something, and I gradually began to realize that I was experiencing writer’s block. And feeling it quite passionately. What if no good idea came to me? What if article #473 turned out to be my final article? I really like writing, and I like having little dialogues (on-line, mostly) about what I write. Writing is one of my main activities, and writer’s block is no fun.
I thought about what I do with children when they can’t think of anything to write about. I’m usually pretty good at eliciting ideas from them. And what about the magazine I produce? I call adults and convince them to write articles. Even some who say they’re not writers. And much of what they end up writing is pretty good. I really believe that there’s an endless supply of writing material in every person. So why can’t this physician heal himself?
As you may have noticed, this is a stream-of-consciousness article. Most of my articles start out with a point to make. But I have to write, and I can’t sit around waiting all day for a point to come to me. So I’m writing about writers’ block. It’s a fairly common malady. This time, I’ve dealt with it by treating it as a subject. I won’t be able to do that tomorrow; now I’ve already written about writer’s block. But at least I’ve written something, and now I remember what it feels like to put my thoughts down where other people can see them. It’s a good feeling. Who knows what I’ll write about tomorrow? But at least I’m writing again.

Comments are closed.