Writer’s Block. A Bitter Blankness.

via wikipedia
via wikipedia

Blank.

That’s pretty much all I’ve experienced whenever I’ve sat down in front of a computer screen in the last month with the intention of writing a blog post.

Blank. What is this experience? What happened to just sitting down and writing, without even knowing where I was going with any given post? What happened to the sense of flow I had gotten so used to experiencing every Friday morning – that carefree time warp of productivity I seem to have taken for granted?

Blank.

Great. No inspiration. No spurts of creativity. Just one measly, incoherent post draft that I managed to get up to 264 words over 28 days. A whopping 66 words per week, and not even 10 words a day. This, after years of consistency!?

Okay, maybe I’m being a bit too hard on myself. I’ve had a few distractions lately. Convocation. Getting married. Going through the meticulous process of having my thesis professionally edited. Milestone kinds of things that can make normal life seem like a distant dream. But also the kinds of things that one would be expected to glean some sense of inspiration from!

Blank. Frustration. Persistence. Resignation.

Finally, it seems there’s nothing left to do but to join the sorry ranks of countless writers who, upon tasting the bitterness of writer’s block, attempt to spit it out by writing about it.  It’s a post that was probably inevitable, but I had still hoped to avoid.

Blank. It’s a difficult thing to have a part of your identity challenged. At work, I’ve long been known as “the guy who writes the blog.” It’s by no means the most significant part of my work – why, it’s not even in the job description – but over time I came to embrace that part of my professional identity more and more, which is probably why this current dry spell seems like a big deal to me, but probably nobody else. I think there was a long period of time during which I reveled in this distinction (and INFPs love to be distinct), and that provided a sort of creative fuel for my weekly writing. It’s possible I even became overconfident, regularly waiting until the last minute to come up with post ideas, longing for “the rush” of coming up with something readable at 9:00 on a Friday morning.

For a while, this was the easiest thing in the world. While I’d give myself 90 minutes each Friday morning to come up with something, there were many days where I’d have a post completed in an hour! Over time though, things started to change. Posts would start going up later and later in the day – and sometimes a day or two later. So, I decided after a year or so to extend my writing time to 2 hours. Things seemed to return to normal following that, and while I’d still be publishing articles late into the day on a pretty regular basis, I was in no real danger of missing a weekly post. Then…

Blank.

Which brings us to today. It’s 11:21 AM, and I’m 500 words into a post about nothing.

Spit.

I’ll be back.

*Cross-posted in Dave’s Diary at the Career Services Informer.

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