Writing has been really difficult lately. My current environment isn’t particularly conducive to the process, with the family home on break, but I also find that even when I do have time to myself, the words won’t come. I want to write because when I don’t write I feel more and more disconnected, but I can’t seem to tap into any sort of flow and that is a deeply scary feeling. Like maybe the one thing in life I’m halfway decent at is … gone?

I don’t actually believe that. I guess. (Except sometimes, I sort of do.)


15 Responses to “Blocked”

  1. TinaNZ on December 29th, 2016 6:50 pm

    Please keep writing. These are my clumsily-defined selfish reasons: you are really good at it, and I’ve been reading your work for so long (since pre-Workplace!) it’s become part of my life. I value this connection to someone I don’t know, whose life is so different to mine, and have come to care about her.

  2. Melinda on December 29th, 2016 8:22 pm

    I am hoping that the new year brings a fresh connection with the words for you. 2016 has been a hell of a year, hasn’t it? I know it was was a year of crazy mind boggling change for me. Sending you all the good vibes and best wishes.

  3. Katie on December 29th, 2016 8:36 pm

    I’m no ‘writer’ but I love to write/journal/whatever and it’s so frustrating when I have so much in my head to get out and I actually get time (which rarely happens) and the blank page stares at me and the words won’t come. A couple months ago, I did thought maps like my kids did at school just to get the thoughts on paper and sometimes I just wrote random sentences that don’t connect. It helps. I hope you have a process that helps!

  4. Jessica on December 29th, 2016 9:56 pm

    Keep trying, keep writing. You’re one of my favorites and I love opening my reader and seeing a new post.
    And I so admire how hard you are fighting.

  5. Grace on December 29th, 2016 10:38 pm

    Ditto to all the above. I hope you keep writing, even if it’s not your best. It’ll come back. There are so many of us rooting for you! All the best to you!

  6. Emily on December 29th, 2016 10:46 pm

    Still with ya since the early days and still relating to the block … these days I try to see it the way I attempt to see darkness or sadness: as a necessary contrast that allows the brighter, more prolific days to feel even more beautiful. Embrace the block! -she says, while procrastinating on her own writing project, without a trace of irony.

  7. parodie on December 30th, 2016 3:18 am

    I hope this is ok to say, as a stranger writing on your blog who doesn’t really know you, but this sounds an awful lot like the spiral you’ve described where you attribute some magical positive attributes to being not-sober.

    What if you need to learn again how to write while sober? And what if you end up being a better writer when sober? I’ve read so many writers bemoaning the magical qualities we attribute to writers/artists (“he made great art because he was depressed/high”) but the truth of the matter is that you just need to write.

    Speaking of which – have you read Anne Lamont’s writing? I’d recommend Bird by Bird if you haven’t…

  8. Kim on December 30th, 2016 8:21 am

    I just finished proofreading a coworker’s short story and got that excited/jealous feeling I get whenever I discover a non-published writer and they’re fucking GOOD. Same feeling I got when I first discovered you, lo these many years ago. The excitement comes from the great writing, the jealousy from the fact of the person overcoming whatever it is and just getting the words out. I have a lot of faith you’ll get the words out again.

  9. camille on December 30th, 2016 10:20 am

    I’m not a writer in the same sense that you are (scientific, for work), but I’m blocked too. Maybe its the time of year….dark, holidays and all the expectations/baggage that goes along with them, anticipation/dread/pressure of a new year? I’m not certain, but I do know that writers write, and that you are a writer. I know this because you come back here again and again, and write with consistent clarity, humor, honesty, and insight. Your writing abilities haven’t left you, and I’m confident you’ll feel/see confirmation of this too. I’m looking forward to your next post.

  10. Sara on December 30th, 2016 1:20 pm

    I know with 100% certainty that your ability to write is not gone, because that isn’t what happens. And you’re far too gifted to just give it up.
    So, like with everything else in your life, be patient with yourself. Show yourself the patience and love that you would show your kids or JB or anyone else who you adore. Give yourself time and do something healthy in the meantime that makes you happy. Give yourself permission to be kind to you.
    We’re here whether the words come hard or easy.

  11. Lisa on December 30th, 2016 3:36 pm

    Sometimes when I am blocked creatively, I find taking walks or hikes help me get inspired. Something about the meditative act of putting one foot in front of the other. If it’s too cold (it is here), even walking on a treadmill can shake some cobwebs loose.

    Or… maybe try some other type of creative pursuit- cooking, crafting, photography- and this is important- don’t be afraid to create work that isn’t “good.” Truth is, ALL creative work is good- good for the heart and soul. I teach photography sometimes and it makes me sad that so many adults don’t think they are creative and are so self conscious about it. Try not to listen to the voice in your head that says you or your work isn’t good enough. It is. You are. Hang in there, winter is hard.

  12. sooboo on December 30th, 2016 6:38 pm

    Even if you aren’t feeling it, write anyway. Trust me, it’s the only way through.

  13. Donna Brubach on December 30th, 2016 7:45 pm

    Bullshit. You’re fine. You just don’t have anything good to write about. Which is good for you because it means that your life is just chillin like a villain. Love you.

  14. Shannon Wise on December 30th, 2016 8:46 pm

    never stop!!! you are amazing and so helpful to so many!!! sending love and light for the new year and for everyday!!!!!

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