When the words just won’t come

Writers block?

There are some days when the words just won’t come. No matter what, they just won’t come.

Maybe they’ve decided they need a break and have taken a holiday.

Maybe they’ve decided to visit someone else for the day.

Maybe they’re just very good at hide and seek.

It’s on these days when I find myself doubting my ability.

Maybe I’m just kidding myself that I can write at all, after all, a “real” writer can just sit and write anywhere, any time, right?

Maybe the words that have come before are all in my imagination, you know, that part of my mind between awake and asleep where I can be anyone, do anything, with no fear of success or failure.

Maybe it’s just me.

There are days when the words will come in my mind, but won’t go down on paper, whether I write them in a notebook or type them in the computer. The words just won’t come.

It doesn’t matter if I have the most amazing writing prompt or a deadline, or anything else, the words just won’t come.

It’s almost as though they are teasing me, taunting me from their hiding place. They are so close yet so far. I can almost hear them, smell them, taste them, but they still won’t come.

I sit with a blank page in front of me, willing the words to come and write a wonderful story, chapter, blog post, as if the blank page itself will entice the words out of their hiding place, but it doesn’t work. Still they won’t come.

It’s not until I’m in the shower or driving the car, or anywhere without the means to write them down that they come. The words dance through my mind, finally coming together. They laugh at me, almost as if they know I can’t do anything with them right then, before running off to hide when I am able to write them down.

Then, when I’ve nearly given up on writing, when I feel like I’m a fraud and I shouldn’t dream about being an author, they come out of hiding and the words flow onto the page and a story takes shape.

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  1. I feel your pain. I discovered a really cool feature on my smartphone a few months ago. When I’m driving in my car and I have a great idea I pull over and record my idea straight into the voice recorder. I take my phone everywhere and since using this feature I haven’t lost as many ideas. The one problem is that my kids now think I am insane. I can live with that though and let’s face it. If it wasn’t this they would find something else to laugh at me about.

    • Thanks Tanya. I have got a voice recorder on my phone, the problem is turning the voice recording into text! I keep forgetting things are there. Maybe I need a VA I can send the voice files to so they can transcribe it…

  2. I think it’s a discipline. Anna Spargo-Ryan wrote a great post earlier this year about scheduling writing time. She said she spent time at the computer every day, allotted writing time, and felt like an idiot. But she kept at it, and over time found herself thinking through things as the time approached, until a week or so in it just flowed as soon as she sat down.

    I find the best ideas come just as I’m going off to sleep. So I try to write them down on the notepad beside my bed, but either fall asleep first or can’t read my writing the next day!

    • Thanks Emily, but I’m finding that my scheduled writing time isn’t helping at all 🙁 I’m just too exhausted with everything else that is going on at the moment…

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