Us creative types can be ever so needy, and it really doesn’t take all that much for us to suffer a genuine crisis of confidence.
A busy end of year programme, several examining stints, and the day-to-day challenge of attempting to bring up two (increasingly demanding) children provided the perfect excuse for allowing ‘other things’ to take a back seat. Throw in, for good measure, a dose of Covid and there you have it; carte blanche for embracing a period of creative apathy!
However, before I knew it, the days had turned into weeks, and the weeks had turned into months – and still I had failed to produce anything remotely worth reading… Enter doubt (stage right), closely followed by self-pity (stage left).
Fast forward to a stiflingly hot August afternoon and I have decided to pay tribute to those remarkable beings who depend upon the written word as a means of bringing in a steady wage and who cannot, therefore, give in to bouts of writer’s block. Indeed, having experienced just a fraction of the frustration and (if I’m honest) dismay associated with a period of cerebral drought, I have been feeling more than a little grateful that I do in fact have a ‘day job’ upon which to fall back!
Writer’s block by Gaynor Hall
You sit there openly taunting me with your crisp white background,
Daring me to express myself – so that you can simply scoff at the mundanity of the content.
The unforgiving margins of your page seem to magnify the enormity of the task ahead,
And still you watch me as I tussle with my thoughts, wondering if they hold any credence at all.
Gone is the veritable lifeline of predictive text, auto suggestion –
After all, where would be the fun in that?
Far more entertaining to witness the inevitable struggle
That is born out of dwindling confidence and creative decline.
You slip in and out of energy saving mode – more out of defiance than necessity;
A cruel reminder of just how much time has been lost to this period of creative drought.
Your insidious prompts to ‘save your work’ seeming almost spiteful
As yet another fruitless session draws to a close.
And then, firmly positioned upon the brink of conceding defeat,
That debilitating haze of ineptitude mercifully begins to lift.
Those first tender strands of inspiration providing a welcome refuge
From the imagined wilderness of the mind.