I have nothing to say today.
But that isn’t completely true, because I’m writing this post and forcing myself to write about how I have nothing to say, which means I do have something to say but it’s about nothing.
It’s some kind of paradox post I guess.
I just saved this document, closed it, and started thinking of something else to do instead of finishing it.
This is hard. Writing is, I mean.
Well, sometimes it’s hard. I read an amazing metaphor about writing in the Toronto Star once. It was an old article, that doesn’t seem so old in my head but has to be at least five or more years old now. It was about a past winner of the Toronto Short Story contest, and he described writing like pulling teeth. Sometimes the words are loose and ready to fall onto the page, other times there is more work and pulling involved. It might end up being a bloody mess getting each word on the page, but they’ll get their eventually.
I spent time searching for the article, searching for the quote, instead of writing this.
(I couldn’t find it.)
Last week, I woke up at five in the morning (with some strangeness on the Friday, but that’s a story for another time) for the #5amWritersClub so that I could fit anywhere between an hour and an hour and a half of writing in before work. I expected it to be harder, but I surprised myself by learning I can wake up and write without a lot of difficulty, it just all catches up to me by the time the work day is over. But still, I like it. I plan on continuing with it, I think I write better at weird hours. Well, maybe not better, but more. I don’t stop and procrastinate as much as I do at night.
On Saturday, I went to a Writing Club at a cafe and became a stereotype. I wrote for over two hours, and was so incredibly proud of myself for writing so long with people I am still getting to know. It was my second time their, first time actually writing, and the nice thing about the group is that it’s just a place to write. No talking or discussing or sharing required. You need some a space and some time to write? Then join in and get some writing done.
I always thought I’d hate writing groups, afraid that someone would be reading over my shoulder, asking me questions about characters and plot that I didn’t know the answers to or didn’t want to talk about yet, but they’re all perfectly happy to escape to their own little worlds of fiction, and I’m happy to do the same.
Well, not nothing. Like I already said, I’m writing this post, or forcing myself to anyways. Pulling teeth and creating a bloody mess as I do.
(I wish I could find that quote.)
I love those moments when I can write a lot like I did on Saturday, where the words just seem to flow, loose teeth that just need to be tapped out. It’s a great confidence boost, because you worry that every sentence might be the last one for the day but it just keeps leading to another and another and another and you think you can do anything.
But it’s worrisome too, at least for me. After writing so long on Saturday, I expressed my worries on twitter (as the modern millennial does):
I just edited the Scriptwriting section of my site as a distraction.
Sometimes I think that if you say something you give it enough power to come true. But it always seems to be fear and stress and negative thoughts that come true when you voice them, never the positive ones. But maybe we just don’t voice our positive thoughts enough.
Maybe I don’t.
So I guess this might be Writer’s Block, except I don’t really like that term. A lot of authors are divided on Writer’s Block, some saying it’s a legitimate thing that happens to “we creative types” (yuck) and others see it as an excuse, that there really isn’t an excuse for not writing. If you’re at a regular job, let’s say a desk job, and your computer won’t work you can’t just say you have a computer block and not work the rest of the day. You have to fix it, or if it can’t be fixed, find some other way to get the job done.
So I guess that’s what I’m doing now, finding a way to get my words out, the job done, even when I have nothing to say. Because if you force yourself, you can write something, even if it’s bad, even if it’s hard, even if you’re pulling teeth.
It’s what you have to do.