Many writers whom I respect have said they “don’t believe in writer’s block,” and I, with a head full of great ideas that I never seem to have enough time for, have always been inclined to believe them.

They cite the inability to write as being indicative of another issue, such as disclarity of plot, an unexamined character need, a loss of love for your original idea, or perhaps the rising demon of self-doubt. And if the words weren’t flowing for me, I would pair it against this backdrop, search for the delaying speed bump, work through it, and inevitably agree that indeed, writer’s block does not exist.

Well, if whatever I just went through wasn’t writer’s block, I don’t know what is.

Completely inexplicable. The intent and excitement to write, a relatively clear vision of where the story was headed, strong ideas and tangible notes for almost all of the scenes left to be created, and yet I would sit at my keyboard and…nothing.

I decided to chalk it up to an indecisive case of “what’s next?” That is, having so many tasks left ahead, but not clearly knowing which should be the next in line. Too many important scenes clogging up the pipeline. A logjam, so to speak.

Approaching the last third of the story, these scenes feel more interdependent than those that came before, so there was an element of timidity staying my fingers as well. Had I just sallied forth and written a chapter out of context, what possible faux pas might I commit to hinder me further in the future? Yes, I know I need to stop that.

Regardless of the assumed causes, this was the first time that all of my contemplation, introspection, and objective analysis left me with a course as uncharted as before I began. Despite the best intentions and careful preparation, for several weeks there it was simply a no-go. There is no other way to state it.

I keep an important quote on the wall near my desk; it’s a pretty popular one from Ira Glass about closing the gap between having good taste and making good art. Different bits of it speak to me at different times, and it never ceases to have something to offer. It ends with, “It’s normal to take awhile. You just gotta fight your way through.”

Fortunately, after a few lost weeks, I geared up enough gumption to break up the blockage and get a fairly redeeming chapter cranked out in a short amount of time.

Here’s hoping this doesn’t happen again.

Thanks Ira.

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