“Just write about your writer’s block. Everyone will understand.”
Advice from my ten-year-old.
And though he is arguably one of the wisest people I know, I had to tell him that most people don’t really find a writer’s process all that interesting let alone being regaled with the stories of the occasional bout of writer’s block.
He countered, “Well, then, tell them why you have it.”
Why I have it . . .
Well, it’s simple really—and anything but.
I have writer’s block because something so unexpected and profound yet so remarkably perfect and easy has occurred. It’s all I want to write about but yet I can’t.
Countless hours spent thinking; a web of memories untangled, tens of thousands of words contemplated . . . and nothing.
Which brings me back to why . . .
Why–when this is such a good story, such an unbelievably happy turn of events–am I so uncharacteristically hesitant to do what I do best and shout it from the rooftops?
Is it because it’s not just my story?
That’s what I have consoled myself with over the last several weeks as I looked day after day at a blank monitor, stared at the fingertips that have always been so accustomed to moving across the keyboard with far less thought than I generally like to admit, why when the few words did come to me, I wrote them, saved them, and promptly put them away: It’s not just my story. I have to be judicious, show good judgment.
But tonight as I walked through my neighborhood, dark and quiet, the salty air washing over me, I realized any block I was experiencing had nothing to do with my being smart or overtly sensitive to the feelings of others. I mean, I try to do, to be both of those things in every facet of my life. But as a writer, it has always been my contention—if not my compulsion—to write what I know, what I need to write, let the chips fall where they may.
I wanted to believe my writer’s block was because I was, am a nice person.
So noble. So magnanimous.
But that isn’t it at all.
It is the period at the end of a sentence that’s been unfinished for the last thirteen years.
A logical conclusion and a custom fit.
A fairy tale ending, but still beautifully, blissfully ordinary.
And no one wants to read about ordinary.
And I don’t want to write it.
But live it?
I’ve been waiting thirteen years to live this ordinary.