Every writer has experienced a moment, staring at a blank screen, feeling ready and able to write eloquently… but no coherent thought forms, no images dance, ready to be turned into streams of words. Whether the topic is academic, fictional, or even an email to a friend, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes the more options available to the writer, the more profound the block.
As a blogger determined to keep this blog alive, I make the conscious decision to sit down and write for it. However, just because I’m ready at the keyboard, I’m not always mentally ready. I spend many moments briefly considering what my next post will be about, trying to formulate a rough diagram in my head. Unfortunately, I don’t always manage to have something in mind when I sit down. Usually something will come to me, and I will just start free-writing on that topic, crafting it into something along the way.
Other times nothing comes. My mind remains blank, as I consider topics I know well, but can’t think of anything new to say on them. Today, this was the case. I wanted to write about mental health today, but couldn’t think of anything new to say. Everything seems a little beyond the reach of my emotions. Perhaps it is a side effect of my medication.
In general it helps by balancing my moods. When I feel depressed, it isn’t as deep. It feels more like a general sadness, just a little more profound, less specific. Yet it also dulls the highs, leaving me at times feeling like I’ve fallen on my face trying to reach for something just outside my range. What flickers and winks out of reach is my passion, the full zeal I can throw into something.
Occasionally it sparks, lighting the briefest line of powder, as story points crystallize, then it winks out again, leaving the outline of its presence on the inside of my eyelids.
I know this dulling of my perception won’t last… it has come and gone before, but I never know how long it will last. In the meantime I float in an emotional and creative limbo, unable to fully grasp the sensations of the world around me. It isn’t constant, I have moments of reconnection, a bump against the sides of my air bubble. They are fleeting.
Even as this blog post is forming, I wonder how I will finish it. My mind doesn’t see how to end this post, or even how to proceed from these words. I wonder about other authors, whether they experience the same blank mindedness plaguing me. It’s very different from knowing where you’re going, but failing to find the perfect sequence of words. That sort of writer’s block is much more easily defeated through brute force and revision.
For now all I can do is seek order in a schedule, pushing through the fogginess, waiting for the sun to evaporate the misty edges of my senses and bathe me with light.