Writer’s block. It’s a cute name. Gives you feckin’ hope, to paraphrase Robin Williams, that there’s something you can do about it. Maybe go around, or climb over, or maybe there’s even a secret door there somewhere.
It doesn’t really describe the experience of being unable to write, however. The part of your brain where the words live–it’s empty. You’re scraping the dirt sides of your word hoard with a rusty spoon, hoping that something is left down there. But there’s nothing.
When a major part of one’s spiritual path is the cultivation of Awen, something like writer’s block takes on an extra layer of anguish. There’s a sense that “if you were doing it right” you wouldn’t lack for inspiration. The “if you just”s swarm and guilt flows like molasses. If I had more discipline, if I made more time, if I weren’t mediocre. The more you grasp, the less you have until all there is, is a righteous pity party of one.
And then come all the well meaning comments about fallow periods, and “it happens to everyone,” and “just keep doing the work and it will pass.” Yeah, I know. The thing is, when a farmer leaves a field fallow, he does it on purpose. There’s a set time and a set season. Writer’s block has a will of its own, and like a bad roommate, it’s not sharing its schedule with you.
But, here I am, tired of not writing, not feeling that I have anything worth writing about. So I’m going to write something. I’ve managed to spew almost 300 words here. It’s not great art, but it’s something.
Why is the first sensation after numbness always pain?