Prompt 64

“What does writer’s block feel like?”

I think that just as much as every writer has their own process for writing, each and every one probably experiences writer’s block in different ways.

The easiest way to envisage writer’s block is a pair of clawed hands holding the writer back, rendering him or her unable to reach their pen, keyboard, or quill. It’s those hands, though, that take on different shapes.

For me, particularly, there are two types of hands. One is called ‘doubt’, the other, ‘distraction’. The first, quiet but persistent, is like a buzzing whisper in my ear, reminding me that what I’m writing may, in fact, be utterly inconsequential for anyone other than myself. The second, a more restless being, taps persistently on my brain, prompting it to follow a number of different flitting and fleeting items that seem to desperately require my attention.

The first I’ve learned to ignore by and by, reassuring myself that, at the very least, what I’m doing now is something I will look back on proudly. The second is harder to shake. It seems like there are a million and one things that need reading, watching, listening, and all right at this instant. To try and fend off this particular hand, I find that I need to get out of the house into a place where I’m seen by other people that—even though they don’t know that I’m writing—keep me accountable.

I’m constantly battling these two clawed hands of mine, but, I find, when I do produce a significant amount of work, it feels like that much more of an accomplishment.

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