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Writer's Block


Writer’s block – the two most dreaded words in a writer’s vocabulary. Even though you have a great idea and can visualize how it will come together when you sit down with a blank page in front of you, with the curser flashing, the only think that comes out is “dsfhidhsdjhiewodfh .” You get volumes of “dlkfhlkdjornfvdoze!!!dfhhw???.”

It’s like buying the perfect tree for your yard and knowing that you want to plant it in the center of the yard and for some crazy reason you find yourself digging a hole right next to the foundation of your house – where the tree can’t possibly thrive without cracking the foundation.

My current project requires nothing but accessing my own thoughts and crafting them into a compelling narrative – the research is done, there is no remaining reporting legwork – and yet all I have is a flashing curser on a blank page.

Carving out the time to work on those labors of love – the work that has purpose and the potential of bringing real satisfaction – takes a lot of finagling. Obviously there is no guarantee that your brain will work on demand and mine has apparently turned to mush.

Oh, I can turn out columns about people I meet everyday, my grandson and why I like cemeteries, but the purposeful work remains elusive. The more I try, the less I get done and the more stressful it becomes.

It’s a story I know. A story I have lived. Actually it’s a story that explains exactly why I am paralyzed with this momentary inadequacy. It’s a story that takes the vivid color of the world around me and turns everything yellow, drenched in an incapacitating fear that defies logic. I find myself back at the yellow dress, the yellow house and places that I never imagined I would be able to remember, much less revisit or share with the rest of the world. But I am telling too much and sharing out of context.

Suffice to say – I am stuck – for now. But it is a story that will be written and rewritten and probably rewritten again before being laid open for public consumption. In the meantime, I stay in the safety of the shadows, where I have always lived – waiting for the end of the world.

Copyright (c) 2010 Rebecca Hertz