Confront Your Blocks

I’m determined to get back into a regular writing habit, but am suffering from major writer’s block. The appropriate way to address a problem is to identify them, right? Ok, then. Let’s do this, Kristen. It’s time to…


Laziness (“I don’t wanna.”) This is a major hurdle for me. Mainly because I fear failure, so a childish inner voice emerges to protect me before I’ve even sat down to work. “I don’t wanna write,” says the voice. “I like TV and I want to see my friends tonight, and I never wanted to be a writer anyways, so there.” It’s not true, actually. The truth is: I wanna write. That leaves me vulnerable, so my inner child comes out to quarrel.

Self-loathing (“I’m sorry.”) I was trained from an early age to apologize for my very presence. [See for reference: The Catholic church and the notion of original sin.] Maybe it’s the learned deference to priests, maybe it’s a genetic condition. But, again, this self-loathing is protective, strangely. I express my self-loathing to you. Then, when you eventually come to loathe me — the thinking goes — I at least have the satisfaction of being FIRST. Like a hipster who brags of discovering a band, I was the first to plant my flag in the phenomenon known as Kristen-hating. #Winning

Fear  (“Oh, shit.”) What if I fail? What if I fail spectacularly? What if I fail quietly, and nobody notices or cares? What if I am left alone and penniless and am forced to work as a cashier at the Dollar Tree?

Donald Trump (“Oh, shit.“) The ultimate distraction: a legitimate reason to focus my energy on something bigger than myself. Because — and I do not exaggerate here — this cheap toupee stand and his cronies are actual fascists; dangerous ego-damaged hate-mongers. A threat to democracy and basic decency. Surely I should pay attention to that, right?

Lack of Focus  (“What do I do?”) I have all of the blocks listed above, plus the list of things I must do in real life, and I am paralyzed by the prospect of this wide array of options. My to-do list is written on an imposing slab of stone. A monument to my life situation. Maybe my headstone.

All right, there’s my list. I’m sure there are more, but this is a good start. I can’t solve the puzzle that is my mind, necessarily, but at least I can be aware of how it is keeping me from progressing.

I’m not sure how I’ll deal with the Trumpocalypse. Perhaps I will stock up on canned goods and learn to shoot. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to enjoying the fantasy of living in the forests with other resistance fighters and communicating across the trees with knowing looks and clicking sounds. But then I remember the cold and how much I enjoy such things as clean water, basic safety, and bathing….



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