TITLE: On "Writer's Block"
By Lucas Fyeld
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I’ve never experienced a thing such as “writer’s block”
I think because I’ve never been witness to other.
It’s not much at all like putting on a sock
But it is if you think you can sit there and think about it
And look at it
And it will just
I think “writer’s block” is just a person with a bad attitude.
Words have rarely come easily or flowed freely for me.
One thing I do on any day that I write anything at all
Is to set a goal of eighty text lines of nothing –
Random mostly-useless nothing –
With no other goal than to get to eighty lines.
So I write and write and do what I consider
“getting the tap going.”
I keep writing about nothing with any relevance …
Until something relevant comes up
Or until I have an idea that interests me
Or until I have to go onto other everyday tasks of life
Like changing loads of laundry.
“Alcoholism” is not a disease, you know.
It’s your choice to put the bottle up to your lips.
And there’s no such thing as “couch-faith”
(you can’t sit on the couch and pray for a new job and expect God to pull one in for you if you don’t put in any job applications – well, you can – but that might qualify you as an idiot)
Same thing with “writer’s constipation.
It’s unreasonable for you to sit at the keyboard
And wait for inspiration.
Same thing as exercising.
Okay well, maybe it’s different for you
(I’ve only ever been me)
I’ve never (never – not once in my entire life)
Been inspired to go jogging.
But there have been many times that after
(after…) I’ve dressed and stretched and gone out and jogged a bit …
that I’ve gotten inspired to CONTINUE jogging.
I had to CHOOSE to make myself inspired.
So usually, my poetry (if that’s what I desire to cause me to inspire)
Starts out as prose. Usually it starts as fairly-ugly prose.
Then I work it and start to feel it
And it turns into decent prose.
Then I push (and often wait weeks, which include some review and some unconscious contemplation)
It and twist it and force it into a poem.
Sure, sometimes the idea sits and stews in my heart for weeks before I realize it’s working towards a poem … those have (rarely) just pretty close to fallen out onto the page in finished form. Like twice in my entire life. Those are amazing. I love them. But I don’t … EVER … expect them.
You can’t sit at the keyboard expecting your fingers to move themselves. That’s not reasonable. If you want something…. You have to be willing to work for it. II Thess. 3:10
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