“If you wait for inspiration to write, you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.”Dan Poynter
I’ve been incredibly indecisive today. It took me over an hour to decide what to eat for dinner. I couldn’t decide what to watch on Netflix. I’ve avoided writing by spending too much time on social media. I’ve looked for inspiration on Pinterest and my bookshelf. I’ve stared at the screen for over an hour trying to figure out what to write.
But instead of finding inspiration, I’ve come down with a bad case of writer’s block. It happens once every SOL Challenge, but since I got through the mid-month hump, I figured I was safe this year. It’s Day 28. By this point in the challenge, I’m usually coasting, already mourning the impending end of the challenge.
It happens to us all, but let me tell you, I’m really looking forward to getting back to my normal writing self tomorrow.
I’ve been stuck for over an hour. Unable to figure out what to write, racking my brain for the right slice of life to share. The problem is, there’s only one thing on my mind, and I can’t write about it. Well, not here at least. In my position, there are things that happen that are confidential, and blogging about it is pretty much the exact opposite of confidentiality, so herein lies my dilemma.
Despite trying to process how to handle the situation, I will myself to come up with something else to slice about. I mentally review my day, pausing to take note of anything remotely interesting or slice-worthy to write about, but I keep coming up empty. So what do I do? Well, I look for inspiration. I turn to my writer’s notebook, scanning my Slice of Life ideas that fill up two pages. Nothing. Opening Pinterest, an app that’s been collecting dust for a while, I peruse my boards in search of an idea. My “Writing” board calls to me, and in it, I find teaching ideas for writing, along with writerly quotes I’ve collected over the years. As I read through the quotes, I come across one that stops me in my tracks.
“All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from fear of being judged. If you imagine the world listening, you’ll never write a line. That’s why privacy is so important. You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone.”
Boom. That’s it. My writing problem is a psychological problem. Here I am bursting with so much to say, so much I need to work out surrounding a particular issue, but I’m afraid of what people will say. What if the person I’m dealing with with reads my slice? What if other people not related to the issue read my slice and wonder why I wrote about something so private? And this is why I can’t write today, at least not about what is really going on. So instead, I write about my writing problems, and that will have to be enough for now.