Strictly process, strictly progress.
I don’t get writer’s block, not in the traditional sense. I’ve long held that it doesn’t exist, and that what writers are dealing with is not so much an inability to write, but something else that is somehow manifesting as an apparent inability to write. I’ve decided that it’s time for me to amend that position, not because I’ve since experienced writer’s block, but because it’s not the kind of condition that someone can diagnose for you. If you think you have writer’s block, then for you, you do. I don’t, and that’s me. Do you, you beautifully blocked mass.
That said, lately I have experienced a locking up from trying too hard. I don’t hurt for knowledge of the next step, but I do suffer from fear of taking it sometimes, and that looks a lot like a block. Again, it’s not, but it looks like it. Like right now: I’ve spent the last three days stuck on a side character’s name. I know everything that needs to come after “What’s up, ____?” but I can’t get the blank filled. Too much pressure to get it right is the problem, when in reality I know that as a first draft, it doesn’t have to be. I just need something in there so I can keep moving and can come back later and fix it. I KNOW these things, and yet…
Anyhow, this is mostly a prose problem. When writing poetry I don’t usually experience this, which is interesting because that’s when I should; when every word literally counts. Of course, there are all kinds of potential commentaries that could round out that train of thought. I leave those flights and flame wars to the cannibals. Right now, I’ve got a name to come up with, and three hours of listening to “Beef Rapp” by MF DOOM hasn’t fixed the problem yet, which is ridiculous because that song is like WD40 for my brain. That’s how I know I’m pressing too hard into it: you can’t hear lines like:
Beef rap, could lead to getting teeth capped
Or even a wreath for ma dukes on some grief crap
…with that beat and not be compelled to action. You can practically see the red teeth root lying on the sidewalk from the street fight that song instigates in your imagination when it drops.
Onward. I’m coming for you, no-name shopkeeper. Me and MF DOOM. And some teeth caps.