I have several opinion essays in the works but I can’t seem to finish them. I can’t get myself in the right head space, more precisely, into the intellectual head space to finalize them. Work is getting in the way. My darling daughter steals all my attention with her cuteness. What’s a writer to do?
I realize that stalling out on a writing project is part of the process. There are myriad advice websites, blogs, etc. about how to break through writer’s block. It’s not really writer’s block though. I mean, I’m writing now. It’s just a stall, not a total block.
There are a few reasons why I believe this creative stall happens to me. The first reason is I have a lot of opinions. With current events being what they are — constantly controversial — and my own personality being one designed to want to voice my opinions, I tend to get started on one piece and then immediately get distracted by the next bit of news. I want to write about all the things all the time and that’s just not possible. So I stop writing
Something else that negatively affects my follow-through is overthinking. As stated previously (and in my other blogs) I have many thoughts on thoughts on thoughts. I tend to get carried away when writing, especially if it’s something about which I feel passionately. Then suddenly I have no idea what my initial point even was, I’m way off track and I’m all out of passion on the subject. Staying the course is often my weakness. Veering off the road, so to speak, happens often. So I stop writing.
I also can have slight delusions of grandeur when I write. In other words, I envision my piece being Pulitzer worthy or at the very least on par with the NYTimes writers. Ha! So I tweak it, and tweak it and tweak it to death trying to form the most perfect, life-changing sentence ever constructed in the history of the written word. By doing so, I sabotage my own authenticity. It’s not a good look and can make for a tedious read at best. So I stop writing.
And yet, there they sit. Over 30 drafts worth of half-assed blogs, commentary, stories, etc. And here I sit, lamenting to you about it instead of working on any of them. I’ve stalled out mentally and now I am using you as my creative jump start. Hopefully this will clear out the pipes and inspire me to finish a few drafts. Thank you for your good writing vibes (if you are, in fact, sending them to me.)
Here’s to the stall-out! May it only inflict us briefly and serve to re-charge, re-tune, and restart our writing engines!