Wednesday, August 1, 2012

4 AM Writers Block (The Inner Dialogue)

<Rant mode engaged.>

Why the hell is it that I can write about anything but what I need to be writing about? Why can I stare and stare and stare at a post, know in my bones that it needs edited, but not know how? Why do I have three projects that are personally important to me, sitting in my drafts, and every time I open them, I end up staring at the screen blankly, not knowing what to say next? Why do I stay up until the sun rises, agonizing over things that probably aren't important to anyone besides myself?

Why do I drink copious amounts of caffeine in order to get a post finished, only to type maybe one more sentence at best? Why do I use more commas the more exhausted I am? Why is my mouth dry and my eyes drawn back towards the television, that really has nothing to offer at this hour (or most others for that matter) when I should be writing? Why do I have the time to be beating myself up over this? Why do I question myself so much?

...And then the voice of Reason speaks, gently but firmly, in my mind.

Dammit girl, shut up and write! If you do, you might even get some sleep for a change!

Heh, yeah, riiiight. Sleep? What the hell is that?

So after slapping myself in the face several times and turning the television to a channel I can easily tune out but continues to provide a proper amount of background noise, I turn my attention to the draft open in another browser tab. I stare at it for another five minutes, then go and read someone else's blog.

Then, I return to the draft yet again.

I read over what I have already written and I can feel the fatigue setting in again. So I save my drafts, close my laptop and attempt fitfully to sleep.


I stay up, continuing to read until my eyes burn, the info interlaced with frantic games of timed solitaire.

And then I review my post--the one I should be working on--once more. And I manage to finish another sentence. 

At this point, the world outside is coming to life; blaring, eye-searing light is streaming in through the curtains, the rubbish lorry is driving round, collecting the discarded of the night before. My neighbors are going to work. or to school. Or walking their dogs. My dog needs walked, too.

It is no longer 4 AM. The world, it seems, has moved on. And so must I. I'm certain other souls can commiserate with these sentiments, that others know the torture of being so severely stuck and unable to move forward on a project. Why is it always the important ones?

...And then I consider re-typing this entire post on the typewriter. But I think one long, sleepless rant is enough. For now. We will see, as the world moves on yet again...but hopefully does not find me again so hopelessly stuck.

<Rant Mode Terminated./> 


  1. here's to rusty 'writers and late-night rants -- cheers -- ian