Those of you who have been with me since the beginning of this little project, or who have come in a bit late but have diligently gone through all of my “archives”, will recall that in May of 2009 I wrote a very short piece entitled “Blocked”. It comprised 14 words including the title and if you blinked and missed it you can find it here: https://littlealfie.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/blocked/
The suggestion that I made in it – that I was suffering from the horrible condition known as “Writer’s Block” – was in fact a lie that I published for 2 good (to me, anyway) reasons.
Firstly, I did not wish to give away to any of my readers, who might have been potential burglars that my lack of contributions (which, at that time were appearing with great regularity) was down to my wife and I being on holiday in Majorca.
Holidays? Oh yes, I think I remember those! I believe I had one in 2010! I must try another one sometime.
Secondly, I wished to keep the information of our absence from certain acquaintances who not only used to read my scribblings but were also friends of my daughter who remained at home and might just have prevailed upon her to host a party or two! By the time it was realised that we had gone it was way too late to arrange any such events at our home before we got back. So we didn’t return to loads of empty Lambrini, WKD, or Vodka bottles plus empty (or partly so) Pizza boxes in odd corners of rooms or under sofas – which was nice!
And because I see fit to mention all that I imagine that some of you might suspect that my meagre output of late (6 postings in the last 3 months) is an indicator that this time I am indeed suffering “Writers Block” for real!
I explained in my Christmas message 2 postings ago that the working hours of my IT contract in Norfolk meant that I wanted nothing to do with any more computers at the end of each day but as the job ended just before Christmas THAT can no longer be an excuse!
No, my particular difficulty is most emphatically NOT Writers Block, which I would define as the inability to START writing things.
My problem lies at the other end of the process – at present I’m having considerable trouble FINISHING my articles.
I have a number that I have started during the last half year or so but they don’t seem to want to let me finish them! Either the narrative starts to drag itself off in directions other than where I want it to go or I get so bogged down in detail (or should that be BLOGGED down!) that they just keep on going to an unwieldy extent.
Plus I seem to have found the (for me) optimum number of partly completed pieces that will guarantee that I cannot work on any one of them without feeling I should be doing something to conclude any of the others. As an example, this piece was actually started on 24th December 2011 but I have only managed to make further progress with it today (18th January 2012) because I wanted to finish other (as yet still unfinished) articles first!
So, it may not be “Writers Block” in the accepted sense of the term but it is certainly a “Block” of some sort – maybe “Word Block”, “Blog Jam” or perhaps “Verbal Constipation” describe it best! Any suggestions?
And the cure? Well I have to work THAT out for myself but I am currently trying to implement the following simple rules:
- Don’t start anything new until the old ones are all done.
- Move ONE partly completed article into a “Do next” folder and ONLY go to that one whenever the writing mood is upon me.
As I moved the current work into the folder as in Rule 2 about a week ago it looks as if it might be working!
Time will tell – but I must ask you to consider what the possible side effects of clearing up a nasty case of “Verbal Constipation” might be!
You have been warned!
Happy New Year.