Strange Illness

  • “You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”
    (Octavia Butler)
  • “People have writer’s block not because they can’t write, but because they despair of writing eloquently.”
    (Anna Quindlen)
  • “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”
    (Margaret Atwood)
  • “Don’t get it right, just get it written.”
    (James Thurber)
  • “What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.'”
    (Maya Angelou)
  • “I think writer’s block is simply the dread that you are going to write something horrible. But as a writer, I believe that if you sit down at the keys long enough, sooner or later something will come out.”
    (Roy Blount, Jr.)
  1. “Lower your standards and keep writing.”
    (William Stafford)

Whew!  It’s good to know that I’m not alone in this thing so commonly known as writer’s block. Though I think block is a mis-phrase.  I call it writers-uh, uh, never gonna happen, give up now, don’t waste my time, forget about it, you suckage-ness. Ain’t no block about it.  Blocks can be overcome.  This is something completely different.

I’ve been writing 1,000 words every day for the past ten years.  Despite occasional moments of being stuck, or blocked, I’ve always overcome.  But the past few weeks have been something completely different.  I have nothing.  Which is daunting considering the contest deadline coming up at the first of the month.  I have resigned myself to the fact that it might pass with no entry for me because I just…can’t…write.

It’s serious enough that I considered visiting with my doctor, but I’m afraid he’d laugh.

In truth, I’ve got enough on my plate that pounding myself with my current incapabilities is probably a bad idea.  In the next 30 days, my son and I will be moving nine hours away from everything we’ve known for the past many years. Thus far, I still own a house and have no arrangement for housing in the new town.  My life has become a frantic mess of worry and I’m not sure where any of this is going.  Doubts fill my thoughts every day, right along side determination that it’s the best thing for both my son and I. 

Deep breath.  I will write again when I know what direction my life will take.   Ten years of routine have not been flushed down the drain by major life changes.  They’ve just been put on hold.  I’ve read a lot of advice by writers berating other writers for not having the persistence and determination to make it happen.  To that advice, I blow my nose at you and throw this piece of advice.

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
Henry David Thoreau

So, I stand up and live for just a while before returning to the black and white pages of my imagination.  I resolve that I will not beat myself up for the temporary lapse.  For I know that, somewhere down the road, this experience will make some amazing stories.  I’ll be sharing them with you later.  For now, I have a life to live. Although, I’m proud of the 600 words I managed to type out tonight.  Even if they are bad.


About author A. Lynn

A. Lynn has enjoyed the craft of writing since she finished the songs in Barry Manilow's songs as a five year old, prancing around her grandparents rural farm. Her style has changed as she's grown up. In the past ten years, she's experimented until finding her style and voice. Now, she's ready to take an effort to share her stories with the world. View all posts by author A. Lynn

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