Does it count as writer’s block when you simply can’t find the time to write? I know what you’ll say – ‘if you really want to do something then you’ll find the time..’ It’s not that simple. When all of your time is taken up doing things you have to do, or at least, that you feel compelled to do – like earning a living – it’s not a case of finding the time, not if the time simply isn’t there.
There is some time available of course, but it comes in very short and infrequent parcels. A writer needs time to think – to daydream. Twenty minutes in the middle of the day when your head is swimming with the details of your daily life – what you’ve been doing and what yet needs to be done – isn’t enough. And at the end of the day, when exhaustion kicks in, and it’s late, and you know that the alarm will wake you up early the next morning…
Sometimes I can work under those conditions. When a story is running ahead of me, when I know what I want to write; when it’s all mapped out in my mind, it’s easier. Even then, when the opportunities to write are so short and so far apart, it’s difficult to avoid the writing becoming disjointed. Sometimes I’ll look at a short paragraph that, in a state of extreme tiredness, took me forty-five minutes, and wonder just how it can have taken so long when, revived by a good night’s sleep, I could have knocked off something much better in fifteen.
But it becomes really difficult when a story isn’t mapped out; when I’m uncertain what will come next, when I’ve reached a dilemma in the narrative. I’m there now. The two main characters of the book have just met, and I just can’t seem to decide how the initial stage of their relationship should go. If time were available I could work through my difficulties methodically. There are creative techniques that I could use. I could make notes on what I want to achieve. I could ‘brainstorm’ (vile description). I could start writing potential scenarios; one, two, three, or as many as it takes until I find one that works (persuading yourself that what you are writing is just an exercise, not the real thing, takes off the pressure). Most of all I could sit, walk or lie down, clear my mind of everything but the book, and simply think. Right now though, that’s a luxury I can’t afford.
Never mind. I expect I’ll find a way.
There’s no such thing as writer’s block… there’s no such thing as writer’s block… there’s no such thing as writer’s block… there’s no such thing as…zzzz