Writer’s Block

tools-to-battle-writers-blockLately I’ve been suffering from a case of writer’s block. As usual, I have this burning urge to sit down and get my thoughts on paper so I can feel like they are organized, but every time I sit down, nothing of any real substance comes out.

The other night I started to write an open letter to the Duggar family, telling them “I told you so” when in reality I only wanted to “tell them so.” Many years ago, I legitimately thought about writing a letter to these buffoons telling them exactly how this story was going to end…badly. I never wrote the letter, but for the record, I’d just like to say: Dear Duggars, I told you so. Or I meant to tell you so. Sorry about not actually getting around to the letter writing part, which I’m sure would’ve convinced you to get the hell out of the spotlight ASAP before one of those 19 kids turned out to be a flawed human being. I mean, statistically speaking, at least 1 in 19 people is flawed, so you just should’ve known the odds. But I’m guessing you’ve never been to Vegas and learned that the House always wins.

My letter just wouldn’t come out right, so I gave up and went to bed.

Then I tried to write a post about my new therapeutic mantra: “Do what works” and quit using the word “should.” It seems simple enough, but it’s amazing how hard it is to surrender all the “shoulds” in life…how hard it is to finally accept that if something isn’t working for you, no matter how persistently you keep banging your head against the same wall, your head will never stop being a head, and the wall will never stop being a wall. Unless your objective is a bruised head, banging your head against a wall isn’t likely to “work” for you. Once you realized that the result of your actions is an unwanted result, you might want to try changing your actions. “But this should work,” you say. Well…is it working? If not, try something different until you get the result you want.

But this post idea just kept making me feel defensive and angry toward all of the people who have shoved the shoulds in my face…and I promised myself I’d try to steer away from anger-laden posts since they don’t really do anyone much good. So I gave up on that one.

Then I watched Dallas Buyers’ Club, and I sat there in stunned, teary-eyed silence for awhile trying to craft a post about the power of such a beautifulbutmessyandtragic story. No happy ending; no deus ex machina sent from on high to make a terrible situation less horrifying. Just human beings – broken…very broken ones – learning how to love each other and, better yet, themselves. It’s the story of a man from Dallas, TX in the mid-80’s who gets AIDS from promiscuous, unprotected sex. He’s a misogynist and a homophobe, and if anyone deserved a terrible fate or “got what was coming to him,” it was this guy. Selfishly, he sets out trying to extend his life beyond the 30 days he is given, and he ends up helping a lot of people who are HIV+ extend their lives. And just like 99.9% of humanity, once he comes face to face with the raw humanity of gay people, transgender people, etc., his heart softens and he learns to love people he once hated. I cried hardest when the transgender man, played by Jared Leto, dies. There’s a scene where he goes to ask his estranged father for money, and his father clearly loathes everything about his son, yet somehow the son still shows kindness toward his dad. Not simplistic I’ll-always-love-you kindness, but the raw and broken kind of a son who has been rejected in the most awful way but still longs for things to be put right again somehow, for a second chance to love and be loved by his daddy.

But somehow a movie review just didn’t feel like a full post, so I gave up on that one too.

And then out of sheer frustration I started writing a post about having writer’s block. Maybe it’s because I just started back to work full time and I’m tired. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to get off of a medication I have been on for ten years and it’s rocking my world in the most awful sort of way. Maybe it’s because my doctor just told me again how complex my brain is and how hard it is to figure out exactly how to treat me. Maybe it’s because all my emotional energy is sapped by this confusing divorce situation I’m in the midst of – trying to remove the unhealthy parts of my complex personality from my home so I can give back the healthy parts in a consistent way. Maybe it’s because I feel extremely angry at about 80% of my supposed support system for not understanding why I can’t embrace their way of seeing the world anymore, for telling me, in regard to my marriage, “Try harder…Again. You owe it to God!” Every time I sit down to write, I can feel the hurt and anger bubbling up to the surface again, and I want to get it out, but I know it’s still too raw to write about in a healthy way. I want to write posts that encourage others as they deal with their own crap, not posts that whine and complain about my own crap. Perhaps someday down the road I’ll be able to write a healthy post about what it’s like to walk away from everyone and everything you’ve ever relied on – to choose what’s actually true for you over what’s supposed to be true for you. Right now, all I can muster is a snippet here and there about this difficult daily reality.

Or maybe, as all writers fear, I just don’t have anything left to say. Who knows? But until I figure it out, I’ll keep writing posts trying to figure out why I have writer’s block. You might want to find someone else’s blog to read in the meantime…

 

 

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