Languishing In The Sargasso Sea

I don’t know any writer, novelist, poet or any other, who doesn’t dread discovering that they have unwittingly navigated their way into that great Sargasso Sea known as Writer’s Block.  It isn’t just finding yourself there that is frightening, either.  The mere spectre of it makes the writer shudder, or maybe laugh nervously.  What a dread, drear place it is!

It’s difficult to describe it to anybody who has never entered it.  It isn’t, however, unique to writers.  Anybody creative has either encountered it or inevitably will.  It torments the soul and can lead to such deep depression that the becalmed has to be feared for – seriously!  It’s like nothing else.

Years ago, when I used to write virtually non-stop, if I did hit that awful place, I would suffer excruciating migraines until I was free of it again.  Happily, that no longer happens.  It just becomes a seemingly endless period of languishing in a limbo, unable to put anything down in words, on paper or on computer.  Worse, some people, living safely without any danger from it, find it amusing!  It most assuredly isn’t funny.

I’ve read all sorts of things that claim to be a cure, a sure way of navigating one’s way clear of the Sea.  One thing I am convinced of is that there isn’t any such certain method.  It is as personal a Hell as any, and escape is found by different people in different ways.  Often, it’s just a matter of time.  You drift free of it with no power to speed the process.  Sometimes, doing something radically different helps, or seems to.  Then, too, you may find that defying it, and simply learning to relax, appears to work. I’m sure of the fact that some, if not most, “systems” work only because they eat up the time you’d be stuck for anyway.

I suspect that, as you get older, the greatest fear is that you will hit that awful place in your twilight years, with some great opus in construction, and that maybe you won’t escape it in time to complete the work.  The idea of not seeing the fulfillment of such a piece is  terrible indeed.

So, because you can never know when you will be becalmed, it behoves us to make as much of the rest of our time as we possibly can.  Not easy, especially if you can’t afford to write full time, or you have other duties and responsibilities.  I certainly lost many years of serious writing effort to working and raising a family.  That said, I have no regrets about the latter!  I take my writing seriously enough, but it doesn’t compare to the pleasure and rewards of being a part of that greatest act of any life.  It does mean that every opportunity for writing is more precious now, and needs to be given due attention and effort.

~ Steve

This entry was posted in general, Steve K Smy and tagged , , , , , , by Steve. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve

An author since the age of 13 years, writing again dominates my activities. My "Imagineer-ing" blog is my primary site. Also: Beginner knitter since November 2010. Favourite knitting techniques: cable and lace. Beginner cross stitcher. Beginner jewellery maker. With the promotion of self publication and all the other work that has been going on here, Dad decided around 2am this morning (22/11/2013) that it was time to begin his next adventure. He was seen off earlier the previous evening by myself, my brother, my sister in law, and my sister, as well as his wife (our mum), and an enigmatic being known only as A Lorraine. After this time of story telling, laughing, crying, joking and mickey taking, we saw how tired both mum and dad were, and we decided to leave them under the (sometimes) gentle care of The Lorraine. When Dad found the timetable for his travels, he let Mum know gently, which woke her from her drowsing, then, with the same gentleness he showed in this universe, he boarded his favourite mode of transport, the Interdimensional Steam Train, and set off with a smile and a wave. For those of us closest, that smile was a reminder that his pain has ended, and the wave, an indicator that he will pop in to all those that knew him, from time to time. Usually at the most inconvenient and in opportune moments he can. While we are sad that he is no longer here, we are happy he now has no pain, and is experiencing more extraordinary things that his writers mind will be frantically weaving into a new story. Posted by Son Damien

Please leave your comment(s)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s