Is this the dreaded Writer’s Block? Is that what I am experiencing? The malady I’ve heard about and read about and seem other writers complaining about? Something like a menopause of the imagination, complete with hot flushes and rushes of blood to the head and ideas to the brain? It’s not something I’ve come across before. There’s always been something to write even if it is rubbish. In a similar vein I like to claim I’ve never been bored: at least bored in the sense of not having anything to do.
Yes, of course like everyone else I have experienced the boredom of having some tedious task to perform and no way to avoid it or make it pleasanter. A pile og ironing springs to mind, but ironing hasn’t been a task I particularly hated. As long as I cold listen to some play or talk on the radio while I was doing it, an hour or so ironing was generally bearable. (I say was because since I retired my ironing is cut down to ten minutes or so a week.) When I was ironing a whole weeks’ worth of shirts and blouses for five of us it did get a bit tedious and I needed something like The Archers Omnibus on the radio on Sunday morning to get me through the session.
If I’d organised my writing better I’d always have something non-essential waiting to be done. The literary equivalent of dusting the mantlepiece – something I can do to fill in the space when there is nothing more urgent/essential but it is a task that needs doing and I can get a certain amount of satisfaction from completing it. I regard weeding our large and untidy garden in the same light. every nettle I pull up and take to the compost heap is an extra brownie point for me.
The again there’s always the writing “housekeeping” side of thing. Going through all files on my computer and sort the wheat from the chaff, the first, second, third drafts and deciding which if any should be kept. So easy to get sidetracked and start rereading something I wrote a long time ago and trying to remember where – if anywhere – it was submitted.