There are a lot of writer’s who say that there’s no such thing as writer’s block, because you can always write something – even if it isn’t very good. Maybe that’s true. I mean, I’m writing at the moment. I’m writing this blog post.
So, if writer’s block no more real than Santa (sorry, spoiler alert), what do you call it when you simply don’t want to write? When you re-read stuff that you loved a month ago, and think that it sucks? Is there a name for the feeling you have when all you want in the world is to be a writer – as your full-time, paid, ‘I’d-almost-do-this-for-free’ day job – and you wonder if you really have the writing chops to make it happen?
I’m suffering a crisis of confidence. That makes for a great comedy routine – thank you Rich Hall for this awesome gem – but does not make for a productive writer.
With this in mind – and drawing on my almost obsessive problem-solving skills – I have begun a new writing contract. I did this about a year ago with a good friend of mine in Seattle who is also a writer. But, because of the nature of the contract – I need to text someone when I am ‘done’ each day and I really don’t want to send her a text in the middle of her night – this time I am leaning on a different friend. She is also a writer, and I know that she gets ‘it’ – ‘it’ being the intangible, yet visceral pull that both compels and repels me. How’s that for some good wordplay? See, the contract has already started to work its magic.
- Write (at least) 30 minutes a day, every day for 5 weeks
- Only 4 ‘free’ days
- Write my blog, my book, my book proposal, an insightful article for a magazine – you get the drift
The idea is that writing will stop being a chore, something that beckons me and then chews me up and spits me out, and become part of my normal everyday life – like working out, or checking Facebook, or helping to fund my barista’s retirement. thirty minutes a day – easy right? Write?? We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted, so to speak.