The Unglamorous Life of Writing


**Please note: For the sake of realism, the f-word is used multiple times in the following piece.**

It’s 3.59pm. I’ve been sitting here all day attempting to write. Something. Anything.

I did start making notes on herding cats and the concept of lesbian time but that just became too snarky and it was abandoned with a self-realised cry of “Someone’s got issues!”.

I do have the beginnings of a piece on gender but I’m reading a book at the moment that I’d like to incorporate so it remains in the Not Quite Ready file.

I also have an outline of a piece on the best podcasts for overcoming insomnia – but thinking about that just made me tired.

So here I am, with my Wednesday Blog Challenge deadline fast approaching, wondering, “What’s stopping me writing?”

Surely, it’s a simple process:

  1. I sit down
  2. I start writing.
  3. An hour later, “Voila! Hello new blog post!”

Some days it is like that – it just flows – but those days are the exception.

Most weeks, this is what it’s like:

Thursday – I breathe a HUGE sigh of relief that I posted something before midnight the night before for my Wednesday Blog Challenge. WooHoo! I can get on with life. I really need to do some of that work stuff so I can pay some bills. Hmmm. Ideally, I should start on next Wednesday’s post but I have almost a WHOLE week before that deadline so no need to think about it today.

Friday – I visit my parents. I’m so mentally exhausted that I can’t even imagine writing. Oh, except when I’m sitting in a doctor’s waiting room and flicking through the 2007 Better Homes and Garden magazine sends me into a reverie for my former life which included such things as renovation and gardens. I make copious notes on my phone about “How Unexpectedly Life Changes!” but it all makes me too sad to write.

Saturday – It’s Saturday! Markets! Saturday paper! Perhaps coffee with a friend. Perhaps even a social event. Who can write with such excitement? Not me! No writing today!

Sunday – It’s a workday. I couldn’t possibly write on a workday.

Monday – See Sunday.

Tuesday – Holy fuck. It’s Tuesday. I have to write something by tomorrow. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. What am I going to write about? Okay, what’s going on for me? Hmmm, nothing.  Oh, I know, I’ll write about the annexation of India and the repercussions for modern China. Hold on, I don’t know anything about that. I don’t have time to research that. It’s my day off. Surely I can have a day free from obligations? I need a rest. I think I’ll go lie down.

Wednesday – Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. FUCK. I have to post something today. Have I got any drafts from 2009 that I can use? That’ll be fine with a bit of an update. Hmmm. Nothing. Have I done any book reviews recently that I can pad out into a blog post? (Check Goodreads) Nope. Fuck. I’ll go for a walk. That’ll clear my head. Okay, I’ll write about love. No I’ve done that twice this year. What’s going on for me? Hmmm. Oh, I’ll write about meditation … Ahh, done that three times recently too. Perhaps I can write about writing about meditation? Arghhhh! I know, I’ll write about not having anything written. I’ve only done that once before … Excellent. And perhaps I’ll work out why I have this darned writer’s block. How can I have writer’s block again? I was writing daily for most of last year. Life is so unkind. Perhaps I should write about life being unkind. NO! Focus. Just sit down and write about not writing. Okay, now I just need a photo to go with the post … Look at the kitty … Oh, I wish I had an editor …

And that is my writing week.

I think I may have identified the block.