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Around the Writer’s Block [Secret Life of an Expat]

I have such a terrible case of writer’s block right now that it’s all I can do to write this sentence. It started a week ago, on the reception of some bad news, coupled with a small health issue requiring me to “take it easy” this week. Since then, I’ve (unreasonably) given myself permission to do absolutely no writing.

It’s not just writer’s block, it’s wallowing in non-productiveness just for the sake of wallowing. It’s so comfortable in my state of unease that I actually prefer to be miserable rather than to put in the effort to improve things. It’s certainly easier than trying.

So it’s been a week of television and movie watching, fluff reading, nap taking… and it’s starting to eat at my soul. I’m grumpy. I’m not sleeping well. I doubt myself, my talent, my entire existence on this planet. I haven’t been able to bear sitting at my computer for more than a few minutes a day. But knowing I had to write this column, a war started to rage in my head. The fight between wanting to blow off my Sunday night deadline (that way I could feel even worse about myself, giving me even more reason to wallow for a few more days), and knowing that if I just forced myself to type for 10 minutes, my brain might start to wake up. Now that I’m in the third paragraph, the resistance is breaking down.

Still, the thought of returning to my current writing project fills me with helpless dread. Isn’t there something I could watch on TV instead? No, no more. A week is long enough. Tomorrow, I will throw myself at the project. I will take little steps. I will open my folder of notes and reread them. I will read “The War of Art“, again. When my brain resists, I will use writing prompts from old Writing Pad notebooks, and write as my character. I will write letters to and from my characters. I will do whatever it takes to get this fuzz from my head. And I won’t worry that it’s all for naught because any schedule I set in place will be undone by my parents’ visit, but I will work as hard as I can to make tomorrow work, and then I’ll worry about the day after. Of course this could be procrastination talking. I’ll do it tomorrow. But it’s nearly midnight in France so I will have to believe that I mean it.

I used to pride myself on never getting writer’s block, because I figured I could always write about something. If I just committed ten minutes. Now that I’ve proven it to myself, I know that I have an extreme case of passivity, and the only way out is action.

Anyone have any advice to keep me moving?

featured image credit: ZeRo’SKiLL