Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The one with all the begging.

It isn't too often that I say things like this, but I'm pro-honesty here, and I'm desperate.  So I am going to write 4 words right here that are harder for me to write than you can imagine.  Are you ready?  Okay.

I. Need. Your. Help.

Yes.  You read that correctly.

I need your help.

I have a problem that I can't seem to find an antidote for, and I am looking for suggestions.  I've written about this problem before, but it's getting progressively worse, and it's irritating the hell out of me.

The problem is this: I can't write.  Like seriously, I can't write.  It's not just a little bit.  It's not that I just can't write for the blog.  It's that I can't write at all.  Writing this is like pulling teeth.  From a snake.  A poisonous snake.  With its jaw wired shut.

I've tried everything I can think of.  I've read books on writing.  I've read books not about writing.  I've tried writing prompts.  I've tried starting from something I wrote before.  I've tried handwriting with a pen, a pencil, and a magic marker.  I've tried just writing whatever words or thoughts come into my head with my eyes open and with my eyes closed.  If I thought standing on my head in the shower under cold water and writing with my toes would help, I swear to god I would try it, but I am giving up hope.  My internal writing mechanism is broken, I can't find or afford a repair shop, and it would take too long to get the replacement part anyway.  I'm about ready to just give up.

That would be fine.  Really.  If my writing days were done and I could say, "huh, don't want to write anymore, can't write anymore...guess I'm not a writer now," then I would move on and become somebody who makes sculptures out of dryer lint, or plays the kazoo really well.  If that was the case, I could just abandon the writer part of me as something that was good while it lasted.  But the thing is, I can't say that.  I can't say I don't want to write anymore because I do.  Desperately.  So.Very.Heartbreakingly.Desperately.  It's impossible to explain.  (Or rather, I could probably explain it if I could write, but I can't).

The typical ways of getting through writers block...all those great ideas tossed out there by well meaning published authors...are just pissing me off.  "Just write," they all say.  "Just put the pen on the paper and write.  It doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to be perfect, don't write for an audience, don't worry about spelling or grammar or punctuation.  Just get the words on the page."  That's great.  Seriously.  I'm really glad they made some money off of that advice.  But seriously?  If I could write, I'd be fucking doing it.  If I could get words...any words...on the paper, they would be on the paper.  When I say I can't write, I mean that I can't.  I just can't.  Not without panic levels of anxiety, or feeling nauseous, or physically shaking.  I'm not even trying to write about something serious...hell, I would write about Winnie-The-Pooh if I could keep the pen on the paper.  But I can't.  The only thing I have found that works to get rid of the panic, and the nausea, and the shaking, is to stop trying to write.  Typically, I make myself write one sentence (so I don't completely reinforce my avoidance), and then I go do something that doesn't attempt to drown me in a substance I can't even identify.

So I need help.  Please.  Am I the only one who has ever felt this way?  Or was there a time when you couldn't write?  Or play music?  Or sing or dance or move or make sculptures out of dryer lint, even though you wanted to?  What did you do?  What helped?  What didn't help?  Is it worth the struggle through hell to get back to that place of creating again? 

Was there a magic book or website or writing prompt or star you wished on that changed things for you?  Did you set up an altar to some Norwegian Writing Goddess that I haven't heard of or prayed to sufficiently?  Any words of wisdom out there?  Any words of understanding?  HELP ME!

Don't tell me to just write.  If you do, I swear to everything that is holy, I WILL lose my mind.  And it won't be pretty.