A hint of writing difficulties that used to be really common for me

Nowadays, I try to write every single day (the last day on which I wrote nothing at all was July 6th, 2011). But on some days “write” means “scribble down a hundred words of useless surreality”. Because I’ve been travelling and kind of overscheduled and really sleep-deprived, the last eight days have been a lot less productive than I normally prefer.

Today was the first solid day for writing that I’ve had all week, and I faced a really interesting reaction. I was actually scared to open up the computer and commit to some serious writing. It was so odd, and in some ways it made me really nostalgic. I used to feel this way all the time. Every single writing day involved a monumental effort just to get started. I had to look at the blank page, then browse the internet, then look at it again, and go away and come back, and really force my fingertips onto the keyboard.

Nowadays, that almost never happens. I might procrastinate for a half-hour or an hour. And sometimes I’m like, “No, I’ll write later today…now I’m going to nap instead.” And other times I might decide, “Today is just going to be a one hour day”. But I rarely feel that fear*. Instead, I just fire up Freedom, allocate however many minutes, and start writing. I’ve bridged this barrier so many times that it’s not scary anymore.

Except…today it was. It was really interesting, and it really reminded me of how easy it is to for me to not write anything for weeks or months at a time. 

*I do sometimes feel other fears. For instance, sometimes I have no good story ideas, and I’m just sitting at my computer trying to free-write a story into existence, and I wonder how it was that I’ve ever before written a story in my life–it seems so incredibly dificult!–and I wonder if I will ever again be able to write a good one. But that fear doesn’t actually stop me from writing.

Comments (



  1. Stephen Gaskell

    Definitely share that feeling. I always start my writing day at a local coffee shop at 7.30am where I can do nothing but write. Only takes a few days of not being in the routine and I lose momentum. Too much time spent looking back is lethal too.

    1. R. H. Kanakia

      Oooh, 7:30 AM. I thought I was being pretty slick by moving my writing time from just-before-bed to the mid-afternoon.

  2. Frank Bishop

    “But that fear doesn’t actually stop me from writing.”

    I think that says it all.

    1. R. H. Kanakia

      Yeah, some people do have this kind of out of control perfectionism that stifles creation, but I don’t think I’ve gotten there yet.