I recently wrote about writer’s block and how it’s been holding me back for years now. There’s a desire in me, a need to fill the blank page, but I can’t.
I tell myself I don’t always feel this way, but I do. Sometimes, I ignore it. Sometimes I ignore writing completely.
One of the things I’ve struggled with most is when I’m not writing even though I know I should be. Meanwhile, every writer out there tells you one thing: keep writing, and if you don’t write, I guess you’re not a writer. You don’t have what it takes. You don’t make the cut. You’re not good enough. Sorry, kid.
I’m guilty of perpetuating that same sentiment. Because I pretend that’s what matters. I pretend it’s just about writing. I pretend that’s what I do. I pretend I “write, despite.”
But the truth is, I’ve struggled for years with feeling like crap for not writing. And that crushing guilt has just made it even harder to write.
I know how hard it is. I know how you feel responsible to create, how you feel driven to do it, but how you just, somehow, can’t write now. I know what it’s like. And it’s okay. I’m here to tell you, it’s okay.
Maybe you haven’t written a word in days. Weeks. Months. That’s okay.
Maybe you don’t feel inspired, you don’t feel motivated. That’s okay.
Maybe all you do is jot down ideas and characters and worlds. Or maybe you can’t even do that. Doesn’t matter. That’s okay.
Maybe you feel tormented by the need to write, but your creativity is all constipated inside of you like you’ve been eating elephant fat. That’s okay.
Maybe your page is still blank. That’s okay.
Maybe you’ve written short stories or published novels and now you just can’t do it. That’s okay.
You were a writer then, and you’re a writer now. Even if you can’t write. There are still stories growing inside of you. Ideas planting themselves in your soul. Words forming. Plots rising. Characters simmering. Chapters evolving. Novels formed in the ether, waiting for you to give birth to them. Waiting patiently. Maybe for tomorrow. Maybe for a few months from now. Maybe for ten years from now. They’ll wait until you’re ready. They need you. Not anyone else, you.
So they’re not going anywhere.
Sometimes the page just has to stay blank for a while.
Nothing will ever change the fact that you are a writer. You always have been, you are now, and you will always be.