Tag Archives: writer’s block

A Dying Dreamland

17 Oct

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I think I have forgotten how to dream. There is a dead and dullness in me that can provide no spark for the shell of my imagination. My soul has gone silent, weary.

When I lay down at night, my head is filled with the noise of the words I was meant to think during the day, when only the repetitive, solid clunk of sandpaper phrases like “job search” and “paying rent” were heard instead, because no matter how I try, I do not have time to sit and think. Not when there are textbook chapters from a week ago to be read. Not when there is neurology homework to complete. Not when I woke up too early, stayed up too late, been too sick and too tired for too long and my brain is too slumped from fighting itself or too hazy from illness. Not when there’s always one more thing to get done.

I am empty. I have written myself – what more can I do? I have faced the truth of myself, found the cathartic relief, the cathartic release of turning myself into words. I have written my pain and written my cracks and written the rawest understanding that I have of myself. I have written my memoir. I have written my truth. Now, all else feels a sham.

I have always been too much in my characters. My heroines, they are vessels of my dreams set out upon a sea of words. They are the stories I could not tell in my life, the adventures, the happily ever after. They were the stitches for wounds I had no other way to heal.

But it was all subconscious before. Sure, to some extent I knew I had been projected into my characters, but now – there is an awkward consciousness that what I am trying to write is just one more shadow.

Do I have no more dreams? Every time I set my mind wandering, the worlds all feel thin and shabbily built. Nothing feels like a good enough premise. Nothing feels good enough to be made real.

And so I toss the frail wisp of narrative away and watch it drift off, flimsy and sticky on the wind of being forgotten.

There is a ghost of a girl mourning within me. She holds a pen. She thinks that I have forgotten how to dream.

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Where have all the stories gone?

22 Jul

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Well dear readers, I’ve hit a bit of a road block. Writer’s block, really.

It’s not a complete-and-total case of writer’s block; I have been writing every day for a while on a site called 750words.com (more on that later) and that’s been incredibly helpful, but the writing has been largely personal, I kind of blog-style journal full of ranting and writing myself in circles and generally typing myself into an “oh god oh god oh god” kind of frenzy.

I know, I know… I promise it really has been helpful! I’ve needed somewhere to let out all my crazies, to think through things without worrying about whether I was going to blogging or saving it or whatever-ing it later. And over the course of my writing streak, I’ve managed to shift my general writing trend from “negative” to “positive.” There’s only so many times I can write myself in the same fretting set of circles before I just don’t want to waste the energy typing about it anymore and manage to make myself find something else to write about.

That being said, this summer’s been rough. A lot of my creative energy has honestly just gone into trying to keep myself sane. Beating away the crazies hasn’t left much imaginative room for the stories to come. I’ve probably actually been keeping a lot of my imagination clamped down in a box, afraid of what my recently acting up depression might do with it. When my brain’s skies darken for too long, it can be a dangerous thing to let my imagination start wandering down my mind’s lesser-travelled thoroughfares. Sometimes, I have to just keep forcing it down the same, safe roads, just to make sure it makes it safely home and into bed each night.

But anyhoo. So, no, my imagination hasn’t been completely devoid of stories. Sure, it’s come up with some characters and plot lines and narrative voices here and there… but like I’ve said, they’ve been angry stories, and I haven’t actually invested myself in writing any of them down for fear that I will be pulled deeper into the hurt that’s born them and not find an escape at the end.

Sharp detour – as black as all of this is probably sounding, my summer hasn’t been *complete* shit. There’s been a lot of great stuff there too. But the thing is, even the happy moments recently haven’t been spawning any stories. I wandered around LACMA today for four hours and not a single painting whispered that it had a tale behind it. Normally I can barely step foot into an art museum without entire galleries shouting at me.

Sure, I’ve got the beginnings of at least half a dozen potential novels archived in my head. I meant to write them all, at some point or other. But the problem is, none of them have felt relevant this summer. They’ve all just felt… stale. None of their characters have shaken off their dust and taken up residence in my head, which is usually what happens whenever I’ve got a story that I really need to write. All the plots and characters I’ve got stored away have felt like just that – two-dimensional writing devices, not the living, breathing creatures that walk around and make noise in my mind all day whenever I’m really working on something.

I’m not sure where to even start on this problem. So, I thought I’d ask y’all for advice. Readers, fellow writers, what would you do? Got any home remedy writer’s block cures? What do you do when you don’t know where all the stories have gone?