Can knowing why we write save us from writer’s block?
Let’s face it: most writing never gets published. There are over a million manuscripts in the US looking for publishers and the vast majority will never find a home with a publisher. And of published work, only one-third ever makes a dime.
These facts come from a wonderful book, Why We Write edited by Meredith Maran.
In my own case, I write my novel to tell the truth about a historical era that I lived through. In the case of my poetry, I write to tell the truth about my own experience. It came about when I was not permitted to tell the truth in an alcoholic home. Not believed when my brother raped me, not believed when my mother broke my nose twenty-seven times, not believed about anything evil that transpired.
Even when I stopped drinking myself and joined AA at the age of 27, I was accused of lying about my alcoholism!
The poetry allows me to plumb my own depths and bring up the truth about my spiritual truth, my experience, my truths.
But the other reason I write, is that I cannot not write. I’ve journal daily and have for 53 years. To live without writing would be impossible for me. If I don’t put pen to paper or type at a typewriter or computer, I feel irritable and unreasonable.
I write this blog to explore why I don’t write my novel. And to help people who may be struggling with writer’s block in any form from not writing a note to a friend, unable to write an email, blocked from writing a blog, a poem or a novel. Or the worst case imaginable for writer’s block– the inability to write a single word.
If I suffered that kind of writer’s block, I think I would end my life.
So if I face why I am writing a novel, it is to tell the truth in the face of a historical lie, the emotions that led to the Weathermen, the emotions that led the FBI to break the law, and all the people on the sidelines, including myself, an activist that was threatened by the Weathermen with death if they took over the country.
Setting that down in this blog, we will see if it will overcome my writer’s block against continuing to write the story.