It’s not writers block.
I don’t have writers block. If anything, I’m blocking the characters. They’re ringing the doorbell and thinking it’s broken, they knock loudly. Some of them are peering into the lower windows and I’m lying on the floor in front of the couch praying they don’t see me. Next, I hear them trying the doorknobs, checking to see whether the house is locked. The backdoor knob turns and Gus, my main character, pokes his head into the porch and calls out, “Hello? Lori? Are you in there? We’re all ready to be written!”
Still, I don’t move. I wait here quietly hiding on the living room floor until, after a bit, I hear their retreating footsteps move down the sidewalk and away from my house. I get up a little stiffly, make myself my one hundredth and one cup of tea for this morning and check my email for the billionth time since seven ‘o’clock. Good times.
Listen to me read this post:
I’ve got a million valid reasons not to be writing. The lawn isn’t going to mow itself, and that cookie dough isn’t going to line up in correct formation on a sheet and set its own temperature. There are weeds in the garden and books that need to be read. And God only knows that my social media network would shrivel up and die without my nearly-constant attention and input. What can I say? And if I’m not watching music videos on YouTube, who is? I mean, someone’s got to do it.
Busy doing nothing.
I’m a desperately busy woman under the pressure of a thousand invented responsibilities.
This would be all well and good except for one thing: My time is running out. Hold on. Before you text someone to let them know I’m dying, please pause and read on. My time to write is running out. The hours and days are evaporating, and even as I write this post (anything to avoid the novel), I feel sick to my stomach at the thought. Soon I’ll be back in the classroom and other duties, real ones, will fill my weeks and months.
I miss my audience when I write a novel!
There’s an audience I write for. Probably all writers have this, a person we picture to whom we’re speaking as we write. Of course, I write for a wider audience, but when writing, I keep in mind this one person and write as if conversing with them. It works for me. Trouble is, I can’t picture my audience reading this novel because it will take so long for me to create it. It’s easy enough to write blogposts because these are instantly available to my audience, and therefore I can feel that the conversation is just rolling along. There’s some satisfaction in that. But when it comes to the slow unfolding of a very long story, I’m mired.
I’ll get it done. I think.
Will the book get written? I believe it will. The stories are there and the characters are clamouring to be heard and acknowledged. They want to come into existence as badly as I want the book to be born. But between me and that novel are many lonely, desolate hours of research and writing dependent upon an ocean of self-discipline and a truckload of imagination. In short, lots of work with no promise of anything at completion – other than completion, that is. For this writer, completion is enough, though. I could live very happily with these stories out of me and onto paper or onto screen.
I’m lonely and distracted.
And so, working against a ton of distractions and without the company of my audience, I will continue to work bit by bit on telling Gus’s tragic story of deep loyalty repaid with the darkest betrayal. I hope one day, dear readers, you will get to know Gus as well as I do. He’s quite a guy. For now, though, I’m pretty sure there’s something I need to be watching on YouTube.
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