Block by Block

Dr. Freex, in his latest post, says that he’s suffering from Writer’s Block.

I honestly experienced a chill when I read that, the sort of thing one might feel when being told an acquaintance has a broken leg or something like that. Obviously, Writer’s Block doesn’t fall within the area of a serious injury and I don’t mean to trivialize such things. I make the comparison only to illustrate how the syndrome affects me.

It probably seems far-fetched for me to say that I have had a pretty serious case of Writer’s Block for about five years now. After all, anyone reading this or other sites of mine can see for themselves how I blather on endlessly about giant squids or stovepipe hats or whatever sort of detritus happens to wash up on my mindshore.

But I don’t consider those blatherings to be real writing. Real writing are the stories that I’ve written, those I’d like to write, and those I’ve been unable to do anything with.

Writer’s Block is a difficult thing to talk about, because there doesn’t seem to be any consensus about what it actually is. I can tell you what it isn’t. It isn’t a form of fear. It isn’t a type of depression. There doesn’t seem to be any slowness of wit or crumbling of knowledge involved. What it most seems to be is something that’s gone missing, but has removed all traces of itself in the process. Like one of those time-travel paradox stories, you don’t know what’s missing because it apparently never existed.

For instance, if I find an unfinished story of mine and begin to read it, I don’t think, “God, what utter rubbish, how could I have been so blind?” No, I actually enjoy reading it, and think, “I should try to finish this one.”

The thing is, though, the thought is a fairly hollow one. The story itself is like an alien artefact, some buried pre-human machine washed up on the beach in an episode of “The X-Files.” I have no idea how it got here.I remember the genesis of the idea, working out some details. I remember some of the writing*, but the thing itself seems to be something totally apart from my experience. Like something written in a foreign language, I simply don’t know what words are needed to continue.

I remember the genesis of the idea, working out some details. I remember some of the writing*, but the thing itself seems to be something totally apart from my experience. Like something written in a foreign language, I simply are needed to continue.It’s a hella bad condition. I wish the good Doctor a full and swift recovery.

*I’m not trying to imply a lapse of memory, here; this is the way I remember everything. I can recall certain details of working on paintings, or audio recordings, probably because they brought results that pleased me. The day to day details, however, aren’t stored or backed up. How’d I paint that arm? Sorry, no idea. The teeth, however, ah, that I do remember….

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