Over the past few weeks I have been running into something that vaguely resembles “writer’s block” (*shudder*). I hate that phrase: Writer’s Block. As if it’s a real thing. I just don’t believe in it. I refuse to believe in it, every writer’s pet excuse. But there it sits nonetheless, sure as the cat on my lap who I am trying to ignore, a shadowy figure on the periphery of my mind’s vision, fogging me up whenever I sit down to write.
It has made me consider (momentarily) calling it a day on this writing business. There has to be an easier way to be alive in this world.
Then, just yesterday in fact, I had an epiphany. I realized that what I secretly desired in my writing life is a boss, someone to tell me what to do, what to write about. Maybe that is why I love prompts and exercises and books full of lists of writing ideas. The writer in me wants to be “The Hands” but not always “The Boss”… the leader, the brain. “Hands” is saying to “Boss”, “Tell me what to say, then leave me to it. I’ll say it in a lovely way.”
Of course, it helps to have a “Boss” because there is someone else to blame if it all goes horribly wrong. But I know as a writer, I really only have myself to blame. What I end up manufacturing (to get past “writer’s block” or just plain laziness) is the Boss persona in my brain, the task-master, the compartmentalized Other who is out in front, saying, “Do this, go there, try here.” And then “Hands” goes to work, “Yes, Boss, right away, Boss, on it, Boss” all eager and ready and happy to be doing the useful thing “Hands” was born to do.
I know, sounds a little schizoid, right? That’s what I was thinking. So we were I was thrilled today to hear about NaBloPoMo, the blogging alternative to NaNoWriMo. In a nutshell, it’s a challenge to write one blog post a day throughout the month of November. Sounded to me and the gang in my head like a healthier alternative to bifurcating my brain.
And away we go. I mean I go. Away I go… on this post-every-day journey. But with all the others, too, the many many bloggers taking up this challenge. You know, the ones outside of my brain.