Writers Block or Something Else?

“Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”

Two opportunities have presented themselves to me to be a contributing, and paid (although not much – and that doesnt matter to me in the big scheme of things) writer.

I should clarify. I am already a paid writer. Its kinda what I do professionally.

All. Day. Long.

Executive speeches, internal memoranda, newsletters, interviews, and such. Five days a week. Eight hours a day. And I get paid well to do it. And I enjoy it.

But this is different.

This is non-corporate writing. This is magazine contributions, articles, e-zines and well, places I cannot say right now.

One would think with my passion for the written word I would be jumping all over it.  Paid (no matter how little) to write? More stuff to add to my portfolio?

OMG. JUMPING HIGH IN THE AIR.

‘cept I am not.

Sigh.

I am not jumping all over. Instead I am sort of twitching, convulsing and hopskotching to and fro.

Twitch left is a “yippy skippy” this is cool.

Twitch right is  “oh, crap, I dont think I can do this..lets twitch more right…as in right away from this opportunity”.

Yes, there is a small degree of angst involved. Can I really do this? Am I a good enough writer? Would people really want to read what I have to say? Would they get anything out of it? How do I not become
“repetitive and stagnant” as one critic recently noted. What the hock will I say? Where is my inspiration? These questions are, to me, typical writer doubt.

The other challenge, deeply enmeshed in this doubt, is that both these opportunities involved writing about adoption, “birth”parenthood, and all the other topics one discusses after giving their child to strangers and living with the emotional fallout.

Do I really want to be known for my adoption related writing? Or does the topic matter? (As my freshman college professor echoes in my head something about writers writing what they know and personal voice. I need to ban that guy from the halls of my head. I am kinda tired of hearing him. Even if he was kinda cute in a nerdy sort of way)

I was a writer, a poet, wordsmith and linguist BEFORE I was a seventeen year old girl pregnant with her first child out-of-wedlock.  I feel as if that part of me, that me, was also taken when my child was.  It was replaced with an adoption trauma writer.

There is more to me, isn’t there? More to my writing?

I need to answer these two opportunities and I feel, well, frozen and a bit lost.

A bit blocked.

5 Thoughts.

  1. You’ve already shown (me) that you have experiences to share. Huge experiences. Adoption experiences. And, since you’re a writer, too, you can give a voice to these experiences that others may not be able to do, in the same way you can.

    You know, there are probably MANY women that share the same experience that you went through…and these women may not have a voice, may not be able to write and may still be sitting in the closet, in hiding. I believe that we have such a huge opportunity…when we’re able to share our deepest pains…to bring light to others, that we must run with that opportunity. Life is all about connections. And you know…when you read something…that speaks to your heart…that even understands slightly what you’ve been through…how relieving and healing it can be. So, know that through your writing…you would likely be giving that experience and healing to another person.

    I say…feel the freakin’ fear and do it anyway! xo

  2. As a writer myself, I totally get this. I do hope you’ll push through the fear and angst and go for it. You are so talented and you have an important message. Actually LOTS of important messages.

  3. Suz, I know what you mean. I’ve always been a writer, although it often ended up taking a back seat to my interest in computers. Finally I decided I wanted to go for it. About that same time I started searching, so for me adoption and writing are very much linked. When my birth mother denied contact was when I started sending out my writing for real. I have written a lot about adoption and asked myself the same question: Is this really what I want to be known for? And, do I really want to keep exposing myself to my adoption traumas in order to write about it? I finally decided I needed to, that it was one way I could heal and hopefully help others. I thought I would be a technology writer (and I am) but as it turns out I’m both a technology writer and a writer on adoption. I’m still not sure how I feel about that.

  4. Triona – As someone who greatly admires and respects your adoption writing, I am glad you do. I suspect for me, the avoidance, is still a bit of denial and wanting to pretend that what happened to me didnt really happen. (FWIW, I accepted the other position that asked me to write about adoption. Baby steps)

  5. Thanks for the compliment. 🙂 To be honest I am not sure I would have started submitting my writing if my mother hadn’t denied contact. I’m not sure I would have had the nerve. I didn’t start my blog until about six months afterwards. There are days when I really don’t want to write one more damn word about adoption, and there are days where I can’t shut up about it. But my experience with my mother did galvanize me into submitting my work to *gasp* real editors. It helps if I write about stuff that isn’t always adoption-related. That’s easier with the technology articles, although I find when I write fiction it creeps in there, even if I’m trying not to let it. I wish I could turn it on and off like a faucet: use it when it’s helpful and keep it away when it’s hindering me. Although, I suppose that applies to adoption’s impact on my life in general and not just when I’m writing.

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