I look outside, and the world is a sheet of white from the snowstorm we had just a few days ago. It’s just like the Word document I have pulled up on my computer. I’ve been trying to force myself to write a short story for several days now in an attempt to prove to myself I still have what it takes to write something brand new. I haven’t written a story from scratch in a long time, and I’m long past the point of panic over it. Panic has come and gone. I’m to the point where I’m almost convinced that writing was a “phase” in my life – something I did back in my late 30s and early 40s, but something I don’t do anymore.
My mind often feels like a blank canvas, and not in a good way. I used to approach a brand new, empty Word document with hope and anticipation, my fingers poised above the keys, excited about what I was about to write. Now, I’m filled with trepidation. Will I be able to write anything at all? And if I do write something, will I be able to finish it, or will it fizzle out like so many other unfinished projects sitting in my “Work in progress” folder?
I want to write. Deep in my heart, I feel the need to write. But maybe that need isn’t strong enough to overpower all the other needs in my life, because if it was, I would actually be writing. I’ve gone through a lot of challenges this year with some family health issues and with my own health issues, but many of us have. I’m not alone in that. Life and its many challenges happen every year. In many ways, I’ve had more time to write this year than any other year.
So, I have the will to write, but I lack the willpower (obviously, because I keep watching Christmas movies on Lifetime instead of writing). I have the time on weekends. What is holding me back? Do I turn off the TV, lock myself in a quiet room, and force myself? Or do I wait for the ideas to come? As writers, how long do we wait for “writer’s block” to clear out? Is writer’s block even real, or is that just an excuse for laziness? Over the years, I’ve given tons of advice on this blog, but I would really appreciate some advice from all of you.