writers block

Writing About Writer’s Block

There is some cruel irony in the way that whenever I face a bout of writer’s block, the only thing I can do to get out of it is write about writing itself. It’s as if I have to deconstruct every reason why all my inspiration has dried up before I can even begin to search for anything new.

Readers of my blog (if there are any of you left…) will have noticed that I haven’t made a post since April. I consciously took a break during May for university work, only writing about The Great Escape Festival which featured over on my ‘other site’ Alt Scribe. Once June came along, I was hit by something even more distracting than academic essays – summer. Instead of cooping myself away on my laptop, I started lounging about in the sun and the longer I left it inbetween writing sessions, the harder it got.

I had spent so long wrestling with words for university, I couldn’t find the energy to write anything for pleasure. Or if I did, it ended up deleted because I’d lost confidence in my ability to self-critique. I couldn’t tell if anything was worth reading or not so I repeatedly pressed the delete button, which is sadly less artistic than ripping papers from journals. The last post I did write about loving yourself and your talents was clearly hubris, and the use of “hubris” in a lifestyle blog is evidence of the writing hangover I’m suffering from several thousand words on Shakespeare…

I have never written conventionally – whether in academia, or in music reviews. At school, I refused to plan essays yet achieved high marks (look guys – more hubris!). With music, my most successful pieces were the ones that I broke all the golden rules in – I talked about myself and my relation to the music and completely abandoned the practice of being objective. It was my desire to weave in my identity into supposedly critical pieces that led me to set up this blog yet now I have this platform, I find myself with nothing to say.

One possible reason as to why I am lost for words is because, for the first time ever, perhaps I am following a conventional writing path – that of the tortured artist, well a half-arsed tortured artist anyway. I used to bash out articles while camped in front of the telly before I went to bed. Now I prefer to sit in silence, alone and break off mid-sentence to pace the room as I search for a better word. Of course, writing quick captions for Jared Leto’s haircuts took less time than attempting to craft some polemic on modern day feminism but I’ve still felt like I’ve been losing by mojo, but I will get it back! I’m not going to work harder though – I’m just going to have more fun.

I can’t run a blog on what it means to grow-up if I can’t get over the first hurdle of writing as an adult. I don’t have the discipline of an editor or the pressure of a deadline to motivate me but I have to be my own boss. I don’t have to write anything, but I want to. It’s not just procrastination or laziness I need to tackle though – it’s perfectionism. If I can’t do my best, I don’t want to do anything at all which gives me an idea for another blog… This post is certainly not perfect but it’s here (with typos and grammatical errors I haven’t spotted, I’m sure), and I’ve forced myself to publish it just to spur me on to write some more. I’ll be back with a new post soon and there won’t be any excuses, and that’s a promise – to myself.

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