Writer's Block  

Posted by inkstainedhands in , , ,

In life, you want to have progress. You want to continue to always get better at what you do and work harder and achieve more. But sometimes, no matter how much you want it, it's difficult and you become frustrated because you just don't know what to do. Well, that's how I feel right now about my creativity.

I used to write every day. I could become wrapped up in a novel and work on it for months and pour all of my energy and thought into it. I could write ten short stories in a week -- stories that I would put away in a folder somewhere and then find a year later and think, "Wow, this is actually pretty good! I like it! Did I really write this?"

Well, that was then. Now, I can't remember when was the last time I wrote a short story or worked on my novel. Now it's just blog posts, articles, essays, journals. Mundane things that generally contain barely any creativity. Sure, it comes easily to me -- but it's not what I am passionate about. Writing fiction used to make me feel so alive and excited! I would start writing a story and get lost in it, forgetting everything around me, tuning out the whole world, and just existing in one where I could create the rules.

I think I realized partially now what has changed and why I haven't been able to do that for a while. When I used to write before, it was because there was something in my life that I wished could be different, and I expressed that through my writing. I would create a world in which it was different, where it was the way I wanted it to be. Anything I wanted could come into existence through my pen, and I took advantage of that opportunity. If I wasn't feeling so happy and wanted to escape from reality for a bit, I knew where to go. Even when I was just bored out of my mind during some classes, I knew that I could find adventure without disturbing anyone. Writing made me happy; it was intoxicating for me.

As you can probably tell from some of my recent posts in which I'm on a Stern-high, I haven't really felt compelled to change my life recently. The past few months have been the best ones of my life so far, and I'm living and enjoying life to the fullest. An unfortunate side-effect of that is writer's block. Anger, pain, sadness -- they're all so easy to translate into writing. I can use those feelings in order to throw myself deeper into the stories I'm writing. But happiness, satisfaction, serenity? They seem to achieve the opposite effect.

I am thankful that my life is at such a good point right now. But I miss that feeling of writing because I feel I need to, that intense feeling that compels me to write and to create. Quite frankly, I'm at a bit of a loss right now as to how to regain that feeling and made it coexist with my current happy state of mind.

In the words of Jim Boggia, whose songs are among the most meaningful in my iTunes library, "‘Cause I can wax philosophic/‘bout my troubles and my pain./Go on and on and on/when I’ve got reason to complain" and "I used to spend a lot of time thinking about the way things might have been./That kind of thing often inspired me to sit down with paper and a pen." Check out the song on iTunes -- it's called 'Made Me So Happy,' and I absolutely love it.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 14, 2011 at Friday, January 14, 2011 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Oh man, you read my mind. This is how I've been feeling lately too (and 'lately' applies loosely - the last week, the last year...)! It's really frustrating. I tried being resolute and making time for creative writing - I wanted to have a new short story done before this contest coming up that I intend to submit something to, but all I have is an unfinished rough draft so far and the writing is appalling. It would take a great deal of editing before I would think of submitting it anywhere. I haven't really finished anything for fun since publishing my NaNo novel July 2010...embarrassing as it's been a year. It's something I struggle with every day and it's a small comfort to see someone else put it into words.

And that's really very true, and something I firmly believe in - I can't write well when I'm happy, and I think there's a great deal of value in the trend that great writers (and all kinds of artists) are their best when they're depressed (or just generally dissatisfied, if 'depressed' has inappropriate connotations). Especially in college - it's a grand ol' time, and I never want it to end (although I could really do without the stress of finals every 10 weeks). I wrote Tinseltown because I desperately had something to say. Now I'm pretty content with my life, and while I do have bad spells, they aren't nearly as frequent or as traumatizing or paralyzing as they used to be. In a somewhat masochistic way, I do wish for that sometimes.

May 29, 2011 at 5:23 PM

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