Dear Writer’s Block,
It’s not you, it’s me.
No, really. I promise, it’s me.
It is I who wishes to push myself to write better, create more, and then devise a method with which to share the results of my creative endeavors with others who yearn to find a way to escape their own reality and delve into another life that appears more exotic, exciting, endearing, or even exhausting than the one they reside in.
It is I who wishes to take readers on adventures that cause them to think about the way someone else lives, or understand – just for a second or two – what it might be like to live in a different place, a different time, a different mind.
Or, perhaps I just wish to share some universal observations about life with other like-minded citizens of this planet we call home. Maybe tell a story to someone who “gets” me, and shares my fear, attitude, philosophy, or even interpretation of human behavior.
I understand you don’t expect much from this relationship. I know you aren’t pushy, or even demanding. You simply sit there, quietly urging me to go ahead, play one more game of solitaire on my phone. Or check my email again, in case THIS TIME something important is waiting there for me to read and then respond accordingly. Because, obviously, if anyone has an urgent message for me, the unreliable medium of electronic communication via the Internet is the way such important information should be shared. You know, as opposed to my cell phone. Or maybe I will find something more interesting and entertaining, written by someone else, awaiting my discovery in my In-box.
Which, of course, proves that others wiser, more disciplined, and less self-loathing have already managed to break free of your restricting power over them and sent you on your merry way to find another sucker, er, I mean writer, who is seeking a relationship that needs no nurturing or patience yet manages to consume his or her time and energy, leaving behind nothing to show for the countless hours spent together. No tokens of affection to prove that you spent any time together at all.
Just empty pages and large, vacant spaces where Imagination once frolicked and danced alongside Reality.
Yes, it’s time for us to part ways, at least for a little while. I’m not saying this is a permanent break. We can still be friends. You know, go out to lunch once in a while and catch up, when I don’t have the stress of a deadline looming over my head. Because, in all honesty, sometimes I find your presence comforting. I’m not edgy and anxious when I’m with you. I don’t constantly check my watch in an effort to ease that nagging feeling that I’m supposed to be doing something else.
So, there’s a time and a place for us to get together. It’s just that now is not that time, and this is not that place. I have this book bouncing around inside my head, bugging me when I lie down on my bed and prepare to enjoy a good night’s sleep. I need to take it out for a walk and see where we wind up. I need to walk it around the block, maybe even around town, until it tires and decides to go back home and finally fall asleep.
I owe it at least that much attention.
After all, it’s been gestating inside my head long enough now, and is ready for me to release it into the world and see if it can survive on its own, after I provide it with a bit of guidance.
If it survives, I promise I will give you a call.
Maybe then we can hang out again for a little while.
Author’s note: This is an exercise provided by Writer’s Digest’s “Boot Camp of Writing Prompts”, a free guide from Writer’s Digest designed to help overcome, you guessed it, writer’s block.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it? Do you have any fool-proof methods that get your creativity rolling and help put the words onto the page (or screen)? Feel free to share in the comments section below.