Writer’s Block is a Real Sickness

Everyone one suffers from a little writer’s block every now and again.

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Brianna Keller

More stories from Brianna Keller

People are made of stories. People have a history that no one knows. The man who has a bike but no home; the boy down the street with the swimming guinea pig; and your mother who has adventures on all seven seas. People are made of stories, even me, and yet I can’t seem to lay down one. One

I believe I suffer from a terrible sickness named by authors and journalists and abused by lazy college students. This sickness: writer’s block. 

Perhaps I caught it, perhaps I developed it through procrastination, but I know I have it bad. Opening Docs doesn’t help; the blinking line, supposed to guide me across the page, only bounces and teases me, and I curse it like the sailor my mother doesn’t know I am. My brain’s functions aren’t functioning right. My ideas aren’t surfacing in deep thoughts that we learned about in third grade, only shallow thoughts that any kindergartner would want to write about because they didn’t actually know how to write properly.

Truly, here, I would have liked to write about how I stood with my mother in a grocery store sniffing coffee beans, and how she apologized for running into someone saying, “Sorry, we’re just sniffing beans!” I would gladly write about how I thought my brother was going to die. I kissed a boy who wasn’t my cousin as a kid, but my sickness paralyzes me before my fingers can touch the keyboard. But then I remember her words: “Just go for it. Don’t turn back, girl!”

Nearing the end of the school year, the librarian invited her former student, now a self-published author. For the life of me, I cannot remember her name, but she was nice and pretty, and encouraging. When my class gathered with the other classes to hear her presentation, I pulled out a notebook, ready to hear what she did to get to the point she was at; I wanted to know how she did it. 

My friends teased me. Tai said, “This girl takin’ notes.” 

Yes, I was. 

She did just as I planned to do: Go to the University of Texas, go into journalism, and all that jazz. 

This author, who I regret not knowing the name of, was like a celebrity to me.

After her presentation, I was able to meet with her. I told her I was a writer too, and I published on a site that people who write fanfictions publish on, and oftentimes I delete whatever I wrote. She shook her head and told me not to do that. She told me to have more confidence in myself. Even if the work you’ve published was, in your opinion, crap, and the writer’s block hits, keep it up. Keep the work up and don’t give up. 

I try to follow her words. She has been there, done that, and I know for sure my case is a common one. 

I still find a mild case of writer’s block. I feel it every time I read back over the word vomit I call a story, and every time my words fail to reach the paper. It’s there, but so easy to forget, when I think of my name on my newspaper’s website; of the story I wrote last week, ready to be published.

I think of how far I’ve come from the lowly writer with no will to finish the last sentence. The line blinking on the screen is ready to guide me now, and I follow it to the end.