Why Writers Block


Why the avoidance?

Essay and art by Mo Conlan

Call it writers block, call it laziness, when I am not writing, I have excuses – demands of real life, my cat who meows piteously for me to play with him. He is so beautiful with his onyx coat and topaz eyes that I give in. And some of my writers block excuses hold water.

But the real reasons I am not writing – when I am not writing – lie under the murk. It has to do with will and surrender.

I grew up at a time when children’s wills were broken. I resisted the breaking of my will, but became used to a surface surrender, while all the while, in the deep streams of my soul I roamed free.

No true surrender; no outward exercise of will.

I think children are raised differently now, and that may have its own problems. The school community in which I grew up did not, perhaps, allow much freedom of will, but neither did it allow overt bullying of children.

Buried under the murk and shale of my life I have a strong will that has fractures. And I have a strong capacity to surrender – but Surrender, having been lanced through enough times, lives in a high tower with a fierce dragon guarding the gate.

Writing takes exercise of both will and surrender and when other aspects of my life go well, it seems easy. I love to write. But when I am lonely or bedeviled by other demons, it becomes harder.

Writing requires a seclusion that seems, at times, heavenly, at times like a punishment for having been an introverted, lonely little girl. Déjà vu – only instead of the lonely little girl with her nose in a book, the lonely woman writing a book.

The other thing about writing, though, is that it is so powerful, the closest perhaps to the Divine Creator of Life that I may ever know. That can be both exhilarating and frightening. We move our characters through our stories, playing god with their lives.

I continue to write, to harness my balky self to it. The support of writing friends helps. I trick myself, bribe myself and try to find new ways to keep at it. It seems important.

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