just sayin’

by Elizabeth de Barros

So this is what writer’s block looks like.

Odd-shaped. Rusted out.


I am not surprised it’s considered a condition. I’m not myself. I am a worm. Worms crawl. They have no words. Or legs. They’re rendered helpless without their belly.

What a terrible thing, this here writer’s block. Been here before— here I am again — dragging around in the dirt.

Posting is overrated. There’s nothing more to say. All that’s been said has already been said and will be repeated again tomorrow on Facebook. Or re-tweeted on Twitter. Not necessarily on my account, either. Trackbacks and pingbacks don’t count. My tongue is bound by a thousand knots. Feels like I’m losing blood. The delete button is my closest friend.

Wiki says it’s neurological. A disruption of brain activity. Could go on for months — perhaps years for some. As if the right prefrontal cortex is having a long, drawn-out spat with the left prefrontal cortex over something they don’t remember. What they need to do is go out, relax, take in the scenery.

Get inspired.

How generous. Makes hardened mental paralysis sound conquerable. I suppose with a squabble there exists a possibility for reconciliation. But just how long this standoff will last I can’t know for sure.

I shouldn’t google this stuff. Certain things are better off left at the bottom of the teacup where still is found some sympathy.

I’m told the remedy for writer’s block is to just go ahead and write anyway. Put something down, even if you hate it. Start somewhere. Prime the pump, crank it with both hands if need be. Just do it to say that you did and be done with it. There’s always tomorrow to take another stab at making virtual fish wrap.

Where will this lead? I’m in a state of panic now. I have nothing to say.

This worm must die. May the sound of my fury be silenced. 

There’s the panic again. Must not be ready. Words come when the cup is full, not sooner.

Even in this, I will give glory to God. In Him, there’s no such thing as writer’s block. His ways are intentional.

Only a matter of timing, then.

Words will have to wait.

These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water.

—Annie Dillard, The Writing Life