Writer’s Block and a Little Flirting

Remember that time you were talking to someone that you were trying to impress- a pretty love interest, perhaps- and then you lost complete track of the conversation? But of course, you couldn’t just stop talking and apologise for your momentary slip of attention, that would be rude; so you kept on talking, hoping that you would find your point somewhere along the way. Of course, you didn’t, so your sentence just dissipated into conspicuous nothingness, prompting everyone involved to give you the iconic Too-Stupid-To-Live stare.

Image result for how can you talk without a brain

Good times. Never happened to me, obviously. I’m much too articulate and well-spoken to ever mess up in a social situation. Too debonair and charming. Too…what were we talking about again?

*Sarcasm intensifies*

Writing, in many ways, reminds me of those wonderful talks. As the author, you’re attempting to seduce your reader with elaborate words of passion and adventure, making your audience’s hearts race, and imaginations soar on wings of wonder. However, because we’re introverts who seldom get the urge to interact with other people (they’re still called “people” right? Not “absolutely-terrifying-beings-of-similar-intelligence-who-have-the-power-of -rejection-in-their-hands”? It seems the dictionary still hasn’t accepted my request to have the terms switched yet…so rude), and haveΒ the social skills of a algae-covered rock, the words we use in our writing tend to be less seductive and more…How do I put this nicely? Creepy.

It’s no wonder writer’s block exists in this disappointing world. Realistically- optimistically-writers should be the best at flirting, because our days are centred around words and how to mix them to create pictures. Flirting is just the act of implying certain pictures, using words and a degree of acting skills (or genuine desire…I guess…); writers should be fan-fucking-tastic at it! We literally flirt all the time. With the computer screen, but that’s just…kinky, right?

How the hell did I get to this point? This post was supposed to be about writer’s block, but here I am, implying sexy tech-y time. I’m so great- ace writer, right here.

It honestly doesn’t make sense for writer’s block to exist; most writers that I’ve encountered put in so much effort to follow their passion, including, but not limited to, working a job they hate in order to fund their work-in-progress. As such, motivation isn’t a problem. Imagination isn’t either, because they’ve actually got an idea, expanded into a plot and characters. So how does writer’s block even begin?

Dumb question, right? It obviously happens because the writer just had a brain fart, since they are still human, no matter how much fantasy they write.

I follow a different philosophy: I think writer’s block happens through of one of two possible scenarios.

  1. The writer didn’t outline, so has no idea what happens next. Panic ensues; or
  2. The writer outlined too much, so doesn’t want to write anymore. What’s the point of writing something down if every minuscule event is painted in your own head? No one is so altruistic that they write for the sake of other people; a degree of selfishness is always present.

In my case, I suffer from #1 syndrome. It’s one of many banes of my existence; it hounds me like the cold seeping through my sheets at night, turning my already blue toes into icicles of doom.


So what do you think? Am I being too cynical, or does my explanation for writer’s block ring true with you?


11 thoughts on “Writer’s Block and a Little Flirting

  1. Before I started pursuing writing seriously, I thought there was only one type of writer’s block. You come to a point where no matter how hard you try, you can’t come up with a single idea. After I started writing though, I came up with I’m pretty sure like 50 different types of writer’s block. Haha. But really most of them revolved around fear. I had the story idea, but I was scared I’d screw it up. Or I wanted to write, but if I wrote, eventually I’d get it done and have to submit it somewhere and if it was rejected, well that was it. And by “it” I of course am referring to the end of the world.
    My identity is truly wrapped up in being a writer. It’s a passion, and it’s not just something I do, it’s part of who I am. So that’s usually what blocks me.
    I can see the two reasons you stated above as blocking people. I don’t generally outline (insert gasp here). I probably should, and perhaps I will one day. I think it’s like knowing procrastinating is a bad idea, but you do it anyway. I eventually cured myself of procrastinating, realizing life was a lot less stressful that way. I imagine outlining will come about in the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I went through the same thing before becoming a serious writer. It’s funny; before I started writing purposefully, I never had writer’s block. It was only when I decided to actually try makign a carriere out of it that my brain began screwing me over.
      Do you find that when you send your work to people to get some sort of feeback, it’s not as cut-and-dried as people say it is? Like, you’re sending yoru work, sure, but so much of YOU is in it, it’s like you’re sendign your soul to be judged. It’s terrifying.
      Well, I like outlining because it lets me write out of sequence without getting disorganised, but I know a lot of pantsers who like the mystery that comes with writing as ideas come. It’s a more organic process, I guess.
      Either way, I outline, but procrastination is still a big part of my life- unfortunately- so they’re not mutually exclusive πŸ˜›
      Good luck with everything!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s true that feedback is difficult. I’ve done different types of writing in my life from writing articles newspapers, legal documents, and academic papers, all without being phased by comments and corrections. But I had no attachment to those pieces.
    Now, as I pursue the type of writing I want to, it’s soul-crushing at times. I’m getting better. Short stories are far easier on me. Perhaps because the criticism comes in smaller doses. Feedback on my novel is still much harder, but I always tell people to not hold back, because by the time I put it out there I want it to be the best version it can be.
    I haven’t figured out how to change my thinking on that yet. If I’m giving out a draft of my novel, I know it needs a lot of work at that point. So why is it so hard to hear from other people that yes it needs a lot of work, and here are the areas where it needs the work?
    I guess because like you pointed out, it’s essentially part of you on paper, and it feels like they are attacking you personally. I am working on reminding myself that the reason people take time to offer that feedback is because they care about helping me make my vision become a reality. If I were editing someone’s novel, and I made no comments, I’d feel like I’d failed them. The more you find and point out, the more you’re helping, right? So I have to take what I know from editing and understand that when reviewing other people’s edits and comments. It’s not that they don’t like my story, it’s that they know it can be stronger, and they know I have the ability to get it there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good job on your self-improvement efforts πŸ™‚
      Personally, I’ve re-read my work-in-progress so many times, all I can see are its flaws at this point; so if the person reading it gives me positive feedback, my initial reaction is joy, sure…but then I become so sceptical, it’s hilarious. “Are you sure it’s good? Did you see that shitty scene in Chapter 5? Why are you lying to me?!”The bringer of good news quickly becomes shell-shocked and runs away in fear. It’s a lot of fun.
      As someone who’s beta read many novels, if I don’t leave comments i nthe margins, the authors get slightly pissed and more than a little worried about the quality of their work. So, peppering their manuscript with little snide comments is my way of reassuring them.
      How do you write short stories? Mine always turn out so bland that I give up halfway through editing. What’s your secret?


      1. Yeah. I’ve spent a good deal of time in the last six months shifting how I look at things. It’s helped me get past a lot of obstacles. I’m serious about my desire to pursue a career in writing, and I don’t want to be the reason I don’t succeed just by my own negative thoughts and self-doubt. I know I can’t get rid of either, but I’ve realized I can’t let them hold me back.
        I like your peppering technique while beta reading.
        I started writing short stories by breaking down a novel idea into just a few of the most important scenes of the story. Then, relay the characters within those scenes. After that, it became more about creating something with a rough word limit in mind and trying to arc the storyline over that space. I suppose it’s another way of retraining the brain. It’s helped me get the most out of my words in a small space, and develop my characters and convey emotions without being redundant or wasting words. A good exercise really.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bravo on your attempt to improve your mental health- I applaud your ability to think like a logical human being πŸ™‚
        Using short stories as an exercise to teach yourself to be concise does make sense; writing academic papers for school taught me to do the same thing. It’s really too bad writing is so subjective, or I’d love to challenge you to a concise-writing competition πŸ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Academic papers taught me the opposite. I once took a pop quiz in a journalism class, we were all still writing our answers at the end of class. The prof said, “This quiz was only supposed to take 15 mins. I should have known better than to give essay questions to a bunch of writers.”
        The next time I post a flash fiction piece on my blog, I’ll have to have people post their own flash fiction pieces in the comments. Maybe you can take a try at it. I’d love to see some sci-fi flash fiction. I think that would be hard. Creating a world and telling a story in a short space, yikes.
        A concise-writing competition sounds like fun. If it had to do with comments though, I’d lose. Haha

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Maybe that’s the difference- all my academic papers are on science-y subjects like disease processes or evidence for certain health care practices…So any and all description is banned. Backstories are to be kept at a maximum of two sentences.
        It’ll be cool to see what sort of stuff people post! You can count on me to do something creepy and disgusting, because that’s the sort of person that I am πŸ˜›
        Your comments are adorable, don’t ever change!

        Liked by 1 person

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