Monday, August 26, 2013

Writer's constipation

Except for the three-plus months following my quadruple bypass in 2007, I've never suffered from writer's block, and that wasn't writer's block as it's most commonly defined. Instead, it was a drug-induced block that disappeared as soon as I made my cardiologist aware of the problem and he modified my drug regimen.

I do, however, sometimes suffer from writer's constipation. The stories are still in my head and the words still want to come out, but they don't come easily. Instead of them flowing out in paragraphs and pages, I must squeeze them out one word or one sentence at a time.

There's no perceptible difference in quality between the work I squeeze out and the work that flows out. There is, however, a difference in how I feel during the creative process. I feel frustrated. What I've not determined is if writer's constipation causes my frustration or if something else causes the frustration and writer's constipation is the result.

4 comments:

sandra seamans said...

I know that feeling well! It's all there in my head but getting the words on the page is a frustrating process. My biggest problem when this happens is that little voice screaming, "Crap, Crap, Crap. Nothing but crap."

Michael Bracken said...

Sandra, that's your internal cheerleader encouraging you to squeeze something out!

(I know. I know. I've extended this metaphor a little too far.)

Thanks for joining the conversation.

sandra seamans said...

Just a tad, Michael, but I brought it on myself :) One of the hardest things for me after squeezing out one of these stories and listening to that voice is to send it out. I never feel like the story is good enough. Stupid fear, but there it is.

Michael Bracken said...

I've discovered that years down the line I can't tell the difference between the stories that flowed out and the stories that I struggled to write.

Don't pre-reject your work. Send the stories out!