fiction theory

The artist is not afraid

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It was a big deal for me
default3, writing!wench
Well, I got 2152 words out today. Technically, I did most of that Friday in my paper notebook and then I typed it in and added some stuff today. But that's still a big damn deal for me right now.

For Christmas my sister-in-law got me 642 Things to Write About, and in it there's a question: "What does writer's block feel like?"

For me, it feels like I'm a house and someone just took a sledgehammer to a load bearing wall. I can feel myself crumbling without my creativity. So being able to write these words, even if they're the sequel to a novel that will never see the light of day is a big damn deal for me.

As I told my therapist, not being able to write in the way I've been unable to write lately (and all the other things) feels like a bomb went off in my brain and now I'm left with unstable wreckage that's creaking and groaning and I'm running around not sure how to clean up the mess or if the roof will cave in or what.

This is why I get mad when people want to insult writers and be cruel about writing, even really bad writing. Now, this doesn't mean I get mad at real and earnest critiques intended to say something meaningful, especially when that bad writing is hurtful and oppressive.

But it is why I don't approve of blatant cruelty and laughing while finger pointing. Because writing is hard, because being able to tap out 10,000 words is an accomplishment, being about to tap out 50,000 words into even a somewhat cohesive whole of a story is really fucking hard.

Right now, I'm barely able to draft a letter to a pretend client for my paralegal class that I'm taking. Right now, it's all I can do to write a letter that will probably come to 500 words and for which I have a preset format and formal rules to follow.

Writing creatively? Writing without formats and formal rules to follow? That's something big. So even if someone does it clumsily and in a way that goes down the same well worn path that others have taken, even if they do it tritely and without subtlety, it's still something.

It's still more than I can do right now. Which hurts to admit, in a way where I wince so hard because taking stock of what I've lost - at least for now - is painful. But you can't rebuild the house without knowing the full extent of the damage.

And this is part of mine.

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