Self-imposed Sticking Points

I once read that writers block often has less to do with having nothing to write, and almost everything to do with feeling like what you have to jot down isn’t worth the ink your spending on it. The part of me that doesn’t like to live in absolutes says that it can be both, that you can spend equal time wrestling with a maddening blankness and being reluctant to give life and effort to something that you believe to be lesser than your talents will allow. But the part of me that has been fighting to form and complete a novel (heretofore known as “The Big Damn Book” or TBDB  for short) that was first dreamed up almost ten years ago, is beginning to stand firmly upon the notion of the latter over the former.


For the past week or so, my brain has been skipping about, crafting sections of the story far in advance of where I am in the plot, whilst simultaneously running through the events that would act as the bridge to finally get me there. Each night, I would try to reign in my scattered plotting and set about writing these transitional scenes, and each time I allowed fatigue and a fair amount of internal hemming and hawing to dissuade any real progress. The first few times, I threw my hands up and claimed writers block, reasoning that time and sleeping on it would help. But as the days passed and I turned scenarios over and over in my mind until they were smoothed, I began to realize that it wasn’t so much a block as a stoppage of my own making, largely due to the fact that I wasn’t certain if the scenes would play satisfactorily once I finally brought them into being.  This epiphany was, of course, no less frustrating that my initial excuse, but it did give me somewhere to work from. If I wanted to progress at all, I had to kick myself in the ass and get back to it.

That wasn’t and hasn’t been easy either, not by any means. But I can say that when I finally was able to eek out a handful of pages in the wee hours of the night, there was a certain relief to it all. I suppose, as in real life, the trick of it was to get out of the muck and mire first. After all that, going back and doing the clean up isn’t nearly as daunting.


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