I Just Can’t Do It

For a few days now, I’ve had a concern that I might have writer’s block. I’ve never had writer’s block, so I wasn’t sure how to judge the feeling. Today, I figured out that my mind and my inner-critic has frozen me dead.

Recently, I was encouraged to try choosing a form and to do some form poetry. As some of you may know, I have been working with Tanka. I loved the form because it produced a certain economic thinking about words, which makes me choose words more carefully.  However, now I find that I can’t write with form or without form. I realize that I can’t express myself well with the form, and when without a defined form, I now seem to feel lost because I realize I don’t have any good sense of economy or clarity. I might take a month off and take up photography or painting.


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  1. #1 by Kathy Boles-Turner on April 12, 2011 - 12:00 am

    After a year of literally pouring out fiction every time I sat at the keyboard, my husband suggested I write a story he had an idea for. He gave me the premise, I filled in the characters, etc (It’s the Max Key story which I reposted to the blog). Everyone in the writing competition I participate in LOVED it! For the next two months, I could barely write my name.

    As exciting as it was to be offered an enjoyable idea from someone else, and as challenging as it was to bring that idea to life, the story was not mine. Not having ownership of that piece crippled me for a very long time. Since that horrible two months ( almost a year ago), I’ve discovered that many of my writing friends have experienced similar situations. Suggestions are great, but the reality is that you have to OWN the idea before tackling it.

    Best wishes. And remember – Don’t panic 🙂

    • #2 by Carl on April 12, 2011 - 1:04 am

      Thank you for your comment. Your point reminds me that we go through these peaks and valleys, so to speak, and it is definitely not necessary to panic………..yet. I still think painting might be fun.

      • #3 by Kathy Boles-Turner on April 12, 2011 - 1:09 am

        Painting would definitely be a terrific outlet! I’m sure with your penchant for imagery, you’d not only dig it, you’d probably be terrific at it. On the tail end of my decade long photography addiction, I tried painting and discovered that I am way too messy to even survive finally getting a decent picture on canvas! (although I really enjoyed abstract watercolors) One of the best things about writing is that my messiness is contained 🙂

        • #4 by Carl on April 12, 2011 - 6:56 am

          You’re right about how writing is “clean.” Messiness is wonderful with the right materials! I’m often messy with the wrong things!

  2. #5 by Val Erde on April 12, 2011 - 4:04 am

    Try dialoguing with you inner critic, either in private or in your blog. I did this some months back with mine, in my blog and since then it’s actually loosened me up a lot. I call my inner critic ‘Mrs Icy’. Icy is a phonetic for I.C. aka ‘inner critic’. If you do a search for a mrs icy post in my blog, you’ll see what I mean.

    I just read your ‘about’ page. I’m sorry you suffer from depression, I’ve been plagued with it over the years, but mine has lessened considerably from the sort I used to get in my earlier years.

    • #6 by Carl on April 12, 2011 - 6:58 am

      I checked out some of the Mrs. Icy dialogues. Those are wonderful! Thank you for your comment, and thank you for reading. I enjoy your work.

  3. #7 by screen_scribbla on April 12, 2011 - 4:58 pm

    Though I’d miss your posts, I don’t think it a bad idea to take some time off from writing. It often helps. Staying creative (painting/photography) is key and soon your inner critic will be ranting about your performance there, which will be the perfect time to start writing again. I have no words of wisdom concerning the overcoming writer’s block, but wish you all the best in overcoming it.

    • #8 by Carl on April 12, 2011 - 8:39 pm

      I think my whining was too heavy. It seems to me that doing whatever I feel like doing is the important thing, since it is an avocation, not vocation, and I’m just doing all of this for relief from some of the strains of life and for fun. I read a prompt this morning that really fueled the fire, so i don’t think it’s a block.

  4. #9 by Find an Outlet on April 13, 2011 - 10:09 pm

    I love listening to the rhythm of your abstractions, with or without form. Thank you to the person who provided you a prompt that provoked.

    • #10 by Carl on April 14, 2011 - 7:12 am

      Thank you for your comment. It means a great deal to me.

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