For the first time in my life, I suffer from a serious case of writer’s block.
Prolific. That’s the word that has often been applied to me. And so it should. After all, I’ve produced more than 55 books in 12 years. In one very busy year alone, I did 10 revisions.
But things just aren’t the same these days. Writing the books that pay the bills — computer how-to books about software like Quicken, Microsoft Word, and Mac OS X — has become real work for me. The kind of work I try to avoid doing because I simply don’t want to.
Writing Blog entries has become tough, too. I think of topics while I’m driving or showering — my two best times for thinking — and when I get in front of a computer, the words just won’t come. So I waste time surfing the ‘Net (a form of procrastination) or, worse yet, watching television.
But what’s really bothering me is my complete inability to write fiction. I’m working on a number of projects. Some of them have been in progress for years and I don’t expect to ever finish them. But one of them is something I want to finish, something I want to try to have published. I’m about four chapters into it and I’m at a complete standstill.
I’m not happy about that.
I try to force myself to write, to make personal deadlines for pages or words or chapters. But when the word processing screen is before me and the insertion point is blinking away at the start of a fresh line, I just can’t make the words come.
So I write blog entries (as I’m doing now) as a kind of consolation prize. I’m writing, aren’t I? That’s better than surfing or watching television.
I feel lost and frustrated. I have a number of other book ideas that I want to work on. They’re not fiction and I’m pretty sure I can sell them. They’ll have longer shelf lives than the computer books I usually write. But I can’t seem to get started on them.
And then there’s the 10 Quick Step Guides that I promised David Lawrence. He’s all ready to publish them. He has a willing audience. But I can’t seem to write them.
Writer’s block. That’s what it is. Like insomnia: you want to sleep but you can’t. You need to sleep but you can’t. I want to write. I need to write. But I can’t.
Let’s hope I get over this soon. I don’t know how long I can handle this lack of productivity.