This isn’t a blog post on how you can overcome writer’s block. Consider it more of a “mulling over” of my recent experiences and frustrations with it. If you have any suggestions or want to share similar frustrations, the comments section is always open.
An elderly woman in a documentary I watched was asked who she was when she was younger, and if she had any regrets. Her response was:
“When I was younger I always wanted to write a novel. I always said I was going to, all my life, but I never did. And now I never will, so I think about that.”
Since I was quite little I always fancied myself a future writer. I entered short stories into contests and took creative writing courses in high school. I wrote a novel-length fan-fiction piece that I absolutely poured my heart into. I enjoyed reading people’s responses to my work, and I enjoyed being a part of a large forum of other writers. I enjoy writing reviews and blog posts. I journal. I write poetry and lyrics and random musings when I feel like it. When I’ve tried to turn that skill and passion towards my original novel ideas, I’ve had less luck.
For the past three or four years I’ve had an idea for a novel or screenplay (I’m a film student) circling around my head. Sometimes when I sit down I lose myself and become one of the characters. When I listen to certain songs I can channel her memories and experiences into them. I have written poems and journal entries in her words.
When I try to actually get past the brainstorming part and begin writing, I freeze. I can write a scene that doesn’t necessarily fit into the body of the story, but I cannot write the body. I know the plot, and I can visualize everything so vividly. Why am I struggling?
Most of the time my issue is simply that I don’t feel like writing. I’ve been thinking that maybe that is an indication that I’m not meant to be a writer, that maybe I should pursue other goals. If that were the case, I wouldn’t think about it every day though would I? I’ve never intended for it to be my main career, but why can’t I even enjoy the freedom of writing on the side?
I’m sure a lot of readers want to become writers. They think they can do it because they’ve read a lot. For many people this is true, but for the majority it probably is not. I’ve considered the possibility that I’m just an avid reader with fancy ideas of grandeur in my head. However, I do have ideas and I do enjoy writing, so I’d like for this to not be the case. (Wouldn’t we all?)
I spent a lot of time last year researching different writing processes as a means of decoding my block. Published authors say things like “write for fifteen minutes every day even when you don’t feel like it” and “write with a pen” and use this or that outlining method. After trying several of these things I learned that it isn’t the method that’s stopping me.
When I was writing daily, probably when I was between the ages of 13 and 17, I had a process that worked for me, for fan-fiction and also some original things on the side. Once I graduated high school and got into film, I took a long break. My interest in the fandoms I was writing for waned, and so did my spare time. I stopped writing my original pieces as well. By the time I realized that I had just as much spare time as before, and was simply wasting it on other things, I couldn’t get back into it. My fear at the moment is that it wasn’t just a long break, and that I’ll never be able to get out of the rut.
I’m still young, not quite 22, so it’s perhaps early to panic about my future writing endeavours. I am still the creative and passionate person I was before college. How do I tap into that like I used to? Thoughts and ideas?