Category: Writer’s Mind


Stupid little …

You want to be let in on a not-so-little secret? Lean in close now, everybody…

I hate writer’s block. (TAKE COVER, SHE’S ABOUT TO RANT!)

It happens pretty much all the time, and I’m sure any writers out there know the feeling. For those of you who don’t…

You know how you have lungs, right? Delicious Useful things, those lungs. Now, see, without these significant organs, you can’t breathe. Yes, yes, I’m sorry, you imaginative geniuses. Sadly, and contrary to popular belief, lungs are required for the action of breathing to get very far. Now I’m not a very smart person in the world of lungs, or I’d explain how it does that oxygen purification thing and gets it to our cells and somethingsomething else…

… Ahem. I failed anatomy/science/life/wherever-you-learn-about-lungs for a reason. (Okay, no, but it makes me feel better if I tell myself that it’s part of some magnificent plot.)

ANYWAY.

Bottom line is that we need our lungs. Unfortunately, bad/deadly/irritating things can happen to your lungs if you breathe stuff in. Let’s see… Spiders, sand, kitten-huffing, smoke, poison gas, flies, your grandfather’s bad breath… Oh! Ever hear of crushed glass? Yes, well. I’m not an expert, but breathing in crushed glass is often made out to be A Very Bad Thing. Honestly, so is breathing in anything else that isn’t airy-oxygen-stuff (according to this sciencey fellow on my right, at least).

Still. This lovely person says breathing in crushed glass “isn’t too bad” – until it accumulates. Yeaaah… Your lungs have trouble getting all that annoying dust out. It starts clinging together to the inside of the lung and makes breathing very difficult. It also leads to a decrease in lung capacity or something. Not too bad, right?

(Apparently, it causes silicosis too. You know: shortness of breath, fever, “cyanosis” or bluish skin, death, coughing, fatigue, weight loss… And probably not in that order. And for your information, it’s marked by inflammation and scarring in the upper lobes of the lungs. “But scars are badass,” a student cries out, “and you can’t tell me otherwise!” Uhh, yeah, you keep saying that to yourself… I think the part where they’re on the insides of your lungs messes that up a bit, though.)

Well, but anyway. Breathe in enough of it and you suffocate slowly. Possibly even painfully.

That’s writer’s block.

… And that doesn’t make any sense.

Version 2:

In the metaphorical body of the writer, our lungs – our ability to breathe life into our work – are very, very important. We pull in the words and lives of those about us, the creative beauty or nightmare of the world, and we convert it into our own masterpieces.

Sometimes, we breathe in something that just doesn’t work out, be it poisonous gas, a kitten, or glass shards. At first, it doesn’t seem to hinder us much. We can still write a few paragraphs or a few lines, even if it feels forced and lifeless, right? We can still breathe, even if it seems painful to, yeah? Maybe it’ll go away in time if we just keep writing and breathing and doing our own thing.

Well, doesn’t always work that way. If we’re unlucky, we keep “breathing in” this stuff. At some point in the day/night/cycle, we realize we just can’t do it anymore; we’re suffocating ourselves with the glass shards and kittens and bugs accumulating in dem artistic bellows.

Some of us curl up and go into hibernation for a few weeks or months until they figure out a way to work these nasty things out of our systems. Some others force themselves to keep breathing and writing until some sort of miracle is bestowed upon them and they choke up all those glass-infested poisonous kittens they were huffing.

Either way, unlike physical dying which, as far as I know, is pretty permanent… Writer’s block isn’t. Thank God.

This also may have totally gone over your heads, which is fine. Tip: never write a rant over writer’s block when you’re avoiding schoolwork doing math and other smart things. Oh, and…

tl;dr for those of you who don’t like reading (well, what the hell are you doing here, then?):

Writer’s block is a bitch.

Advertisements

While innocently frittering away my school hours, my mind wandered to a subject that often leaves me paralyzed in inexplicable aversion: My writing. My questions of the year reared their little ugly heads: “Why doesn’t my writing ever feel complete and alive? Am I terrible writer? Should I quit the one thing I absolutely love doing? What if I’m not good enough for this venue of work? What if I’m not cut out for this? Aaaagh! What if I’m just wasting everybody’s time?! ”

For once, I found an answer. Well, to the first inquiry, anyway.

It’s not my setting. It’s not my storyline. It’s not my plot. It’s not the themes. It’s not the color of the sky, it’s not the climax, it’s not my style of writing. It’s not even the fact that I use odd words like boondoggle, widdiful, or pulveratricious.  No, no, it’s my characters.

…Or, well, a LACK of what my characters have: Motivation.

Scanning over a few short stories and incomplete novels, I’ve found a trend: Most of my characters lack motives and reasons. I never actually put thought into the “Why” of what they’re doing. I make the character, I give them a past and a present and maybe a future (unless they mysteriously expire) and I shove them into a plot, but they don’t have reasons to be there; they’re just along for the ride.

And there it is, too: I have a PLOT, and I have a “goal” they’re seeking to complete, or a place they need to go or something they need to do… But rarely, very rarely, do I have a believable motive as to why they are attempting to achieve this. It takes away the human feel; the minor realism; the life of my writing.

… Time to work on fixing that little screw-up, eh?

-Meg