We all get writer’s block sometimes. Today it’s my turn to get it. I warmed up the laptop, squeezed my cuppa onto my very messy desk, and sat down to write. The post I planned on writing wouldn’t come out, though. It was going to be one about Ernest Hemingway and an insightful thing he said about letting people believe you’re a natural born writer when in fact you’ve learned how to do it from me (granted, that last bit is my addition, not the great man’s words).
I stared at my screen and willed the words to appear before me. Funnily enough, that didn’t work. I got up, wandered around the room for a bit, put the kettle on again and grappled the urge to pop over to Facebook. We all know where ‘just five minutes’ leads.
Fresh tea in place, I sat back down. Now here I am.
No more excuses. Of course I can write this. I’m a writer. I help people all the time with getting their words out so I just have to follow my own advice. But I’m sitting here and telling you all about my Facebook and English Breakfast compulsions instead of about Hemingway and his wisdom and how you can be the envy of all those people you allow to think you’re a genius storyteller.
What’s wrong with me today? Have I lost the ability to write? Has it deserted me since I went to bed last night? Did my personal inspiration fairy pack her bags and leave in a huff? I’ve been buying those special chocolate biscuits for her (are you buying that at all?).
Yes, all of us feel like our words have just dried up sometimes. What am I doing about it? I am following some excellent advice I was once given. ‘When you can’t write, write about not being able to write, why you can’t write, what you’re supposed to be writing and how it feels to be unable to write. When you’ve done that, you’ll have written.’
So here I am, not writing what I meant to write, but I HAVE written. So I am not perfect. I am not sitting in my ivory tower telling everybody else how to sort out a problem I never have myself. I GET IT. I UNDERSTAND how it feels and I can help.
… What’s that you said? Ernest Hemingway? Oh he’ll have to wait for another day. I don’t expect he’ll mind…
Are you trying to get your story out? Trying to write a novel? Managed about six pages so far? Members of The Storytellers’ Academy also get into the Facebook group of the same name, where they get regular story writing challenges with a particular focus and stimulus material to keep their own inspiration fairies happy. Interested? Check it out here.