Just Write

I think I’ve got writer’s block…although that sounds a bit pretentious and like I consider myself a writer, which is actually more accurately starting to get to the nub of the problem because I don’t. Consider myself a writer that is. Really I think I’m having a more all-encompassing creative crisis. Because obviously that sounds far less pretentious…

I’ve lost the motivation to publish anything on my blog (and yes I get the irony of that feeling and this post). I’m frustrated with all the sharing. There’s so much sharing – twitter, facebook, instagram, linkies. Everyone is sharing everything and it’s all just too noisy. I have also recently completely shrugged off the cloak of blog anonymity that I have carefully worn for almost three years and so now I find myself frustrated by writing TO share. Everything I write now needs to be written with various potential readers in mind. It’s trapping and I wistfully gaze back to my days of writing into a void.

I’m frustrated with how I write. The way everything I write at the moment sounds the same. Variation is not my friend. My short sentences, lists, subclauses…ellipsis. Slightly cringey form, like the teenage me trying too hard to move people.

But that’s the other thing about my writing. It may well be articulate, I do believe I can express an idea eloquently, sometimes entertain and even make the odd odd person laugh BUT I don’t move people. Not profoundly. I write just for fun and, mostly, just for me. I write about the everyday, I write about silly things…I have never invited my readers to suspend their disbelief and accompany me on a real yarn of a story.

Because anyway what stories have I got inside me? I’m just not sure if I’ve got any. On the odd occasion ideas might float up like bubbles, and, like bubbles, they pop as I try to catch them. The rest stay sealed; vacuum-wrapped in the deep freeze of my untroubled and bland middle-class soul.

How depressing.

But the good news is that becoming a mother changed that for a time. It gave me a glimpse of deep creativity. The utter implosion of ‘life as you once knew it’, the befriending of a new identity and the primitive horticultural mindset required to respond to new life collided in me. From it I felt a profound need to create and words were my tools.

But then the sparks of the collision died down and soon they became buried in school reports, stay and plays, doctors appointments, and many more of life’s practical banalities. And that identity – a timeless, creative and fierce maternal power – became tainted by society’s belittling of care and the whisper that feminist power is not feminist enough, or powerful enough, if it’s used to look after your own children.

I’m scared to completely lose sight of that creative being though – the writer that could be. So I thought I’d start taking my writing a bit more seriously, stop writing ‘just for fun’; maybe make a go of being that writer. I’m currently studying for a diploma at the London School of Journalism. I’m enjoying it – I’m learning a new way of writing and I dare say it will be useful. But the new way of writing I’m learning is formulaic. I’m learning a set of rules and applying them to a bundle of words – no more than 30 per sentence and not too hyperbolic, mind. The thrill I get from completing an assignment is akin to the satisfaction of finishing a jigsaw puzzle rather than any great creative epiphany.

Maybe I’ll find creativity at work – I’m ready to start working again and I work in the arts sector, so maybe… Two joys of working in the arts is that you are surrounded by like-minded wonderfully creative people and you are relatively close to artistic happenings. But actually working in the arts in a project management sense can be incredibly uncreative. It’s an administrative job where you are not the maker, the artist. Normally someone much more talented, or occasionally just  someone more confident and determined, is that.

So what now? How do I get past this writers block, this creative crisis!? What is the actual point of this meandering navel-gazing blog post?

Well actually I just wanted to write something/anything and this is what I know at this moment. And so perhaps that’s the point, or a point anyway. I need to remember to write, write about what I know and write frequently.

Who really cares if I’m not creative enough? If I’m bland? Who cares if my poems are crap and my blog posts boring? I feel grumpy and unproductive when I don’t write. I feel stagnant and frustrated when I don’t write.

So I will write. I will write past this block and I will write for me.

4 thoughts on “Just Write

  1. Not sure I’m much use here. I write for me…documentation for my life and a way to preserve the memories while protecting the privacy of those in my life. I’ve published the odd thing, but not for quite some time, and nothing all that successful or popular. I like my blog because I can do what I want my way…ineffective post titles and all… Maybe I’m funny. Maybe I tell a good story. But, mostly I like reading through my stuff periodically and remembering the things I forgot. Then again, you have many more followers, so you’ve probably done much more right than I have. 😉


    1. I think that’s the perfect way to enjoy a blog…I love reading back to posts that remind me of my son when he was younger. I feel so guilty I haven’t documented my daughter in quite the same way. It’s lovely to have a little space on the internet to write – and followers don’t translate to readers! Thank you for commenting x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The key is in those last three words: “write for me”. The blogger’s existential crisis happens to us all at some point, in particular if we’re not 100% focussed on earning money from our blogs. I can empathise with the “too bland, not funny enough” feeling too. But what matters most is whether there is still enjoyment and satisfaction to be derived from the simple act of putting finger to keyboard. If the answer is “yes” and the problem is with all the blogging-not-writing stuff that goes with this industry, then you can eliminate some of it. There will always be someone who promotes themselves more, joins more linkies, is a member of more pods etc etc. But is is something you *need* to do or just something you feel you should do just to keep up with Joneses?

    As for worrying about your audience – I don’t know if this helps, but I have pretty clear boundaries. I’d rather not write a post at all than write one which has to be self-censored so as not to offend someone at school or to remove something that might embarrass the kids. I’ve written about a lot of stuff that I know most readers won’t be interested in – but I still want to write it, for whatever reason. Conversely, I have left some genius posts on the shelf simply because I would have to compromise them to make them publishable. C’est la vie. I post only what I’m comfortable with now, not what I think will drive the most traffic. (That’s probably why my stats are plummeting …)

    Interesting to see your reflections on the journalism course, as it’s something I’ve considered in the past. There’s a definitely a very precise style to written journalism, although feature writing is a bit freer. I increasingly see journalism – especially as it pertains to newspapers and news websites – as a functional exercise. Write concisely. Write quickly. Keep it in a lane (unless you’re trying to be deliberately controversial). It certainly doesn’t offer the creative freedom that blogging does.

    Anyhow, if you were to stop, I for one would miss you. But you should always do what’s right for you.


    1. Thank you for your characteristically thoughtful and thorough comment Tim. The points you make about censoring posts etc are very helpful. And i absolutely agree, i think I just need to adjust slightly. Although the reality is that while most people now know I blog they certainly don’t bother reading it! Not that i blame them!
      The journalism course is really interesting. It’s a feature writing course so I have learnt the basic journalism rules then how to apply them to features. I probably sounded a bit negative about it in my post…it is interesting, enjoyable just not buzzy creative if you know what I mean.
      It struck me while I was reading your response that I feel actually as though I have already stopped blogging. I realise that sounds bizarre given that I am clearly still occasionally posting on my BLOG but i really feel as though I have stepped away from “blogging”…
      So yes i will keep writing, sometimes here, sometimes there and basically anywhere!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s