Writer’s Constipation

Edgy. Mood of the day for Wednesday. Mid-day madness of moment: Texts, emails and calls attack at once. Started to lose composure.

Muted text alerts. Muted computer sound. Tried to focus.

Seems like this used to be easier. More distractions? Probably. Definitely.

Feel old. Words come harder. Speed fades. Used to write a story in 30 minutes. Destroy deadlines. Punch out six, eight even 10 or 12 stories per week.

Now? Agonize over one feature. Is the right tense? Can I make this more active? How can avoid this gerund? Is this too long? Do paragraphs flow from one to the other?

Used to be sure. Used to be young. Ignorance of youth. Maybe.

Where did confidence flee?

Used to think I could write anything. Feels like everything is a struggle these days.

Greatest fear: I lose the ability to write.

I only sound like myself when I write. Good. Bad. Ugly. All points in between.

Have I lost touch with me? Maybe. Don’t know.

Want to be good. Want to be great. Such hubris. Such pride. Such arrogance.

Never had writer’s block. Don’t believe in it.

Writer’s block is the luxury of successful authors who don’t face hard deadlines.

Lately, though. Writer’s constipation, maybe?

Things get out eventually, but it takes more labor than it used to.

The fear screams: “You’re losing it. You never head it.”

The intellect remains silent. Intellect never really believed I was good.

Serviceable? Maybe. Employable? Sometimes. But great? Meh.

Problem: What is great? Who decides?

Evaluate. Am I better today than 26 years ago? Maybe. Yes. I hope.

All these thoughts swirl while I try to write a story on deadline Wednesday.

WTF? Please, please, please don’t let the anxiety and depression seep into the words.

The words. The sentences. The paragraphs. The stories. They are all I have. That is how I contribute. How I find myself. How I center me. The words.

The words came. Story was fine. So was another. And another after that.

Stuck in head too much. Overthink every keystroke. Want home run on every story, every paragraph, every sentence.

Silly. Intellectual reasoning knows that. Emotional reaction does not.

So there I am again. In the space between.

With love and hope, dpf

Published by Daniel P. Finney

Daniel P. Finney is a professional paragraph stacker who grew up in Winterset and Des Moines, Iowa. The local newspaper paid him $25 for his first story when he was 17. He has typed for cash ever since. He is a flawed human trying to be a little less Incredible Hulk and a little more Mr. Rogers.

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