Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On: Writer's Block

I have started and discarded this post many times in the last few days, on the computer and in my head.

I could say some trite phrase like "I've lost my mojo" or "It's just writer's block, I'll get over it", but it would come across as self pity and I really don't want to go down that road, because I'm not looking for reassurance.

For the last week or so I've been struggling with Writer's Block. My fiction is still alive, even if it's running into the middle of a dusty western town with a flat tyre and dust devils bouncing past.

My solution to my fiction writer's block is to force myself to write: physically sit down, put my fingers on the keyboard and demand that I type, dammit, even if it sucks. I've gone from a fairly loquacious 4000-6000 words a week, down to a pitiful 1500-2000, but I'm hanging in there. Maybe my big burst of passion is over, and I'm settling into a routine of somewhere around 250-500 words each scheduled writing day. It hurts a bit, because I have so much lost writing time to catch up on (all those years wasted). Yes, I know, that's my patience clawing at the cage of my brain. At least words are still flowing, ideas are coming, even if the pace has slowed somewhat.

The biggest chunk of writer's block is aimed at my blogging. I've always positioned myself as an ally, been very conscious of my privilege, and hoped I didn't screw up too much. Still, it hurts when I realize I've made a clusterfuck of something, hurt people, and get called on my privilege. I'm not making excuses, nor  am I going to give specific recent examples - it's a little hard to quantify my feelings right now as I process being shut out of conversations even though I had the best of intentions. And as so many feminists have been quoting lately "Intent, it's fucking magic!" (TM Genderbitch)

It's frustrating, because I'm trying to find the words to convey how I want to help, how sorry I am for things said, how I'm not like Them, how I know I fucked up and I'm not proud of it, how I'm on people's side...but I feel like a failure of a writer when the words just won't come. I'm not John Scalzi who has written a paean to privilege, or Genderbitch (again) who puts it so succinctly.

So, here is me, forcing myself to write, even though it's a pretty crummy thousand words or so. This is not digging for sympathy -  this is my way of trying to work things out. I have nothing succinct to say, and willing the words to Just Happen is putting a burning sensation behind my eyes and a big slammed shut gate of Get The Fuck Out in my brain.

Angry doesn't always get the job done.

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