The Writer’s Ledge

I am a writer who suffers from writer’s block. Not always – in fact, often I can write about everything and anything. But I have found that the more important something is to me, the more my writer’s block kicks in. Whether it is because it’s a special passion project, or because I am writing for a publication I love (or both which is even more daunting), it is a correlative relationship – the more I care, the greater the writer’s block.

Let me be clear: “block” doesn’t actually summarize my scenario. It’s not a block like a blank screen or boulder that stands in my path, or anything like that. It’s more like a writer’s cliff. I am either at the top or the bottom of this steep precipice and I need to take a jump or just start hiking, sometimes painfully slowly at a dramatic incline. One option might sound easier than the other, but I have found that neither of them is.

Two of my more recent experiences with this were in writing a museum catalogue essay for artist Frohawk Two Feathers and in writing a piece about the preservation efforts behind the Watts Towers. Both topics are near and dear to me, as were both publication opportunities, so they were double-doozies (perhaps we can envision me bound at the top or bottom of the cliff in these scenarios in order to demonstrate the dual challenges of these cases).

In both situations, I persevered after spending a handful of time avoiding the topic and procrastinating. After this, I was able to jump, dive, and fall into the work. Along the way, though, there were points when I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to move forward with either project. Part of this is fear: that eternal fear that we maybe can’t really do what we have set out to do. Overcoming this fear has become easier for me, the older I have gotten and the more I have written. Now that I have proven myself before, it’s easier for me to quiet those vengeful little fear mongrels that live in our heads and sometimes hearts.

Read the rest here at Desert Jewels.

Comments are closed.