Becky says things about … writer’s block

My dearest, loyal listeners. I have abandoned you. I have shunned, rejected, deserted you.

You see, listeners, the unthinkable has happened: I can’t think of anything to say.

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Yes, I have been struck by the writer’s worst nightmare: the dreaded Writer’s Block.

Initially my desertion of this blog was due to my focussing on writing my novel, which was going spiffingly: I’ve bumped the bastard thing up by 40,000 words since January. But then the writing slowed to the pace of a drunk arthritic slug, and then the ideas shrivelled away like a drunk arthritic slug that’s fallen into a puddle of salt.

So instead I thought I’d focus on my blog.

But then I realised I had no ideas for that, either.

The chamber of ideas was sadly lacking.

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There is no writer on earth who hasn’t succumbed to writer’s block. It is, to employ a phrase commonly used to describe the experience, a right old bollocks. It makes you feel incapacitated, because you can’t do what you know you’re supposed to be doing. Imagine if footballers suddenly couldn’t remember how to football, or singers stepped on stage and didn’t know why they were there?

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You feel like you have to start all over again. You have to rediscover your skills, which have crumbled to a pile of rubble, and lug out the most tremendous energy to retrain yourself to do what you hope you can still do. Writing suddenly becomes the most hopeless pursuit in the world. The pressure to get back into it grows to an impossible weight. Picture this: Christopher Wren starts building St Paul’s Cathedral. Everything’s going swimmingly, he’s at the top of his game, it’s a feat of architectural magnificence rarely seen… and then he gets builder’s block. He can’t go on. He runs out of ideas, his motivation dies a terrible, humiliating death, and he really doesn’t know what to do.

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Is writer’s block borne from external distractions? Does it have anything to do with the fact I subscribed to Netflix a few months ago? Maybe. Instead of writing I have binge-watched the entire three seasons of House of Cards, without once, I might add, having a clue what was going on.

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Instead of writing I’ve gone to the pub. Instead of writing I’ve painted my nails. Instead of writing I’ve searched for unobtainable properties on Rightmove.com, I’ve fiddled with my phone, with my laptop, I’ve googled ‘eye make-up tips for blue eyes’ and ‘documentaries about natural disasters’, I’ve trawled through Buzzfeed’s backlist of articles about cats. I’ve done literally anything to avoid thinking about the fact that I can’t think of anything.

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And as if the actual experience of writer’s block wasn’t irritating enough, the remedy is even worse: writers say that the only way to get over writer’s block is to write.

That’s like telling someone with no legs that the only way to get some legs is to walk to the leg shop.

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But I do feel a little better for just writing this blog, despite the fact that even these few words have been a struggle. Getting these words out has been like dredging a pond full of scummy water (which is a phrase I use in my novel. See, I’m recycling my own words because I can’t think of any new ones. I’ve stooped lower than whale shit (which is also a phrase I use in my novel. I’m doomed)).

So, hopefully, if I keep dredging the pond, I’ll get to the nice, verdant, mossy bottom, and that mossy bottom will, hopefully, produce ideas and words which will flourish into a veritable oasis of creativity and joy and if I haven’t drowned in the puddle of my own analogies by that time, I will, hopefully, be able to do some ruddy writing.

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42 thoughts on “Becky says things about … writer’s block

  1. JUST sat down to a morning cup of coffee (waaaaay over here on the US Left Coast) before getting ready for work and exclaimed out loud, “Becky!” That’s OK about House of Cards. I didn’t get the Brit version either (why did that poor girl keep falling off the rooftop and yelling “Daddy!” Holy crap. Get the man a therapist, or something…oh, well. Murdering him is as effective, I guess. WHAT did those pretty women see in him, anyway?)

    1. Hahaha I’ve not seen our version! That sounds mental! I thoroughly enjoyed watching Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright do their thing, because they were AMAZING, but as for the politics… not an offing clue!
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Completely understand how you’re feeling. I am currently channelling my writing in the form of: not writing whilst binge watching Orange is the New Black. Le sigh.

  3. I was so happy to see your post today. I too have been very remiss in writing. I don’t have writer’s block, just nothing to say. I have worried about it, I hope it will all work out later.

  4. How lovely to see you back on here, writer’s block or not! I think you did a fine job with this post…..better even than walking to the leg shop to get a new set of legs! You have been missed! Tell us about writing the novel. Certainly there has to be some blog fodder in there, yes? Do you talk to yourself? Do you talk to Stickman? Show us the process.

    1. Thanks for the kind words! There will definitely be a forthcoming post on writing the novel! And YES I talk to myself. All the time. Stickman shuts up when I’m writing my novel, he knows his place 🙂

  5. Becky Becky Becky Becky Becky, it’s so good to have you back!

    That “dead earwig” image is very very memorable. That one will stick with me for a while.

    The whole “Bill” stuff was even more confusing back when our president was Bill. I was also around 10 years old when that kind of stuff was happening, which makes everything confusing!

  6. lol Oh, Becky. For someone with nothing to say, you have risen my spirits soar-ley…. Can’t believe stickman agreed so readily to the double amputation. He must love you greatly… 😉
    Wishing you the very best in finding your mossy bottom! 😀 xx

    1. Stickman does what I say, because he knows I have the power to destroy him. I’m not sure there is any love involved, it’s more a relationship based on fear and resentment.
      I shall search for my mossy bottom, and let you know when I find it!
      Thanks for the lovely comment 🙂

  7. You do say things about nothing very well 🙂 I think laughing in the face of Despair is the best way to go. Hopefully this has cranked your engines back up. At least you haven’t succumbed to the brain drain of Candycrush, like a good friend of mine….. If you like political stuff which makes sense, you should watch In the Thick of It. Malcolm Tucker’s highly imaginative swearing is very therapeutic 🙂

  8. Hey, Becky, guess what? You’re not alone. I’m shuffling around the blogging zone reading everyone’s blogs in the hope that I too will conquer the huge cube that is sitting on my next and stopping me from writing. Your post about writer’s block was just what I needed to get out of glum-bum mode 😀

  9. Write about the dead earwig! Write about the dead earwig!
    Aw… Just when it was getting interesting.

    I followed a link from http://madhatters.me.uk/ and found your blog. Lucky for me, it seems. I enjoyed reading about your predicament, but I was sympathetic too. I had to write about concrete once because I was so stuck for a topic.

    Hope some stuff appears in the Chamber of Ideas in time for your next post.

  10. Set your timer for 15 minutes, sit down, pick up pen, start timer and just start writing, just write anything that comes in your head. Do this every day, the only way you can write is if you have the pen in your hand and some time set aside. Stop when the timer goes off, go and have a nice cup of tea. Everything passes, you wrote a great blog post. Good luck

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