Thursday, February 7, 2019

Is a writer still a writer if he isn't writing?

For the last year or so (if I'm honest, nearly two years now) writing has been far more difficult than it should be. By writing, I mean anything that requires putting words in a cunning order. Be that blog posts, letters, novels, or really anything. I managed to complete NaNoWriMo 2017, but it was torture and well, quite poorly written. For NaNoWriMo 2018 I never got past 14k words. 

I have always considered myself a writer, not because I had published anything or because I was always writing something, but because I loved writing. Whenever the opportunity presented itself I would write happily away into the night. whether it was instructions on some process or system for work, a letter to someone, a short story, a blog post, or anything the words just poured out (not always good, but easily). This is no longer the case.

Even this post I am forcing myself to slog through because it has been so long since I started and finished writing anything at all that something had to be better than nothing. Besides, who knows, maybe the act of putting my thoughts down (I almost said 'on paper') in type-written words will help put my head right again.

I am sure this is part of the larger, um, funk, for lack of a better word, that I have found myself in. I really don't know how to describe it other than a malaise from which I find no respite. If I were a computer I would recommend buying a new one. 

Certainly, I have no reason I can think of for this malaise. I have a good job and earn a decent wage, I have a loving wife, three wonderful (though maddening) children who have all managed to make it to adulthood without jail, drugs, or parenthood, and more hobbies than I can shake a stick at. (though come to think of it, all of those are suffering as well.) Sounds idyllic, doesn't it?

Still, that doesn't change how I feel and I know it is affecting my writing (not to mention most everything else in my life.) I have now been writing the few paragraphs above for about 3 weeks. I have erased and re-written almost all of it multiple times, and I am aware, believe it or not, that it is still horrible.

Something has to change, I don't know what or how, but something has to. I am not ready to stop being a writer yet.


  1. We are often not the best judge of our own accomplishments. Other's seem to have a better understanding of things that you may not be able to see for yourself... in yourself.

    "...Someone I once knew wrote that we walk away from our dreams afraid that we may fail or worse yet, afraid we may succeed."

    Having read and enjoyed all that you have written through the years, my only wish is that you start, once again, writing for yourself and not letting your own thoughts ruin your craft. Your stories are worth reading, your stories need to be told, and you are the only one who can tell them. It is the rest of us who are the true winners as we get to read them.

  2. The last of mine you read was NaNoWriMo 2016 which I was happy with. You have not seen 2017 or 2018 which were both forced, poorly written, and wooden.
    It is not a question of fear of failure, but complete lack of desire, of ability to string more than a few words together at a time let alone in a cunning order. I appreciate your kind words, but they are ill placed. This is not a crisis of confidence, but something different.