Real Talk: The Evolution of A Writer

I have writer’s block again.

The world, it feels, is infinitely more fucked up since my last bout which spanned from 2015 to 2018. With this great awareness to think outside of my own small existence, my creativity is stifled.

What I have came to terms with recently is this: it is hard to have creative ideas and dream up fantastical worlds when things are shitty. I have thoughts on those shitty things. I feel deeply about the state of the world.

Yet, when I put pen to paper to dream up another world, a blank screen stares back at me. Or, I may write up a few words before losing interest because some current event snatches my attention.

Writing is what I have loved to do since I was a kid. I had notebooks full of stories. Paralleling that, about 15 years ago, I started journaling. It was in response to a life event: my mother’s second battle with cancer. On a whim, I bought a journal. When my mom went into the hospital (prior to her move to hospice), I would sit by her hospital bed and write. Surprisingly, I’ve kept it up. I’m sitting next to my current journal at the moment.  

A few years after that, I started my professional website on WordPress and actively started blogging about my experiences on the job hunt and eventually working for the National Archives.

As I get more immersed in the writing world, particularly fiction, I am overwhelmed by the number of writers and the brilliance of their stories. I love hearing about them, providing feedback, and how it briefly spawns some creative juices of my own.

Yet I always come back to now. What it means to be a hetero, cisgender, Christian, black woman, who grew up solidly middle class for most of her life and how those identifiers shape, limit, and enhance my world view but also I how I have contributed, directly and/or indirectly to the oppression of others.

I don’t know what kind of writer I am. All I do know is I want to continue writing but, to borrow from Marie Kondo, fiction writing no longer sparks joy.  

I’m rambling here. I know I am but I wanted to share for my fellow writers out there. Sometimes, the type of writer we are evolves. We often talk about how our writing skills change and develop but we seldom speak to the evolution of our style or genre of writing. Pivoting or exploring other forms of writing doesn’t make you a failure. You’re still a writer. What I write to you is very much what I’m saying to myself. During my last bout of writer’s block, I considered myself a failure because I hadn’t worked on any fiction story. As I was tidying up my website on here, I went back over the number of posts I wrote during that time. I wrote over 25 posts. That averaged out to one post a month.

The realization sank in that I didn’t have writer’s block after all. That was a major boost to my ego and disproved I wasn’t a failure. I still wrote things and produced work just not in the form I thought.

At the end of the day, I’m still a writer.