Word Drought

It wasn’t my first word drought and it damn sure won’t be my last. I could see it coming a mile away, but was helpless to stop it. Even as I write this, I can feel the words getting jammed up in my brain. Every idea, syllable, sentence, and paragraph sits at the tip of my tongue but can never quite make it off the tips of my fingers onto the keyboard. When I do get fortunate enough to hear the clicking of the keys begin, the sound quickly vanishes as my doubt and second guessing force me to press delete until I see nothing but a blank page and blinking cursor.

It started immediately after writing the post about my body. I knew it was going to happen. How could it not? That post took me a few hours to write, but it was 4+ years in the making. I have been searching for the proper way to express those feelings since the day a young medical student with trembling hands removed the surgical bandages and introduced me to the shock of my new body. Having finally expelled all that emotion I knew my brain would need a breather.

I’m convinced every writer has a sick compulsion for words, to read them, write them, rearrange them. I do. They swim in my head and refuse to be ignored. Phrases and sentences will repeat themselves over and over and over until I take pen to paper and give them life. This blog was created because I could not shut my brain off from repeating the words “I’m sick and so are you” until I jotted them down on a post-it note. I felt compelled to get them out of that dark space and let them see the light of day.

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The Post-It that started it all.

I tried to talk myself out of starting this blog. Everyone has a blog. It’s such a cliché. Nobody even knows what a desmoid tumor is. Nobody will want to read about it. But, that compulsion, it just wouldn’t be ignored. Most of my first dozen posts were already written before I even started the blog. It was an embarrassment of riches and I felt a little arrogant about it. My ego was kept in check the first time I hit the publish button, as nothing is more terrifying than the idea that no one will read what you wrote except for the idea that they actually may.

Every relationship has its peaks and valleys and a writer’s relationship with their words is no different. There are times when my cup runneth over and my brain has seeming infinite ideas and the confidence to let you read them. Then, there are times when I have to google the correct spelling of spelling and I can’t be convinced of anything other than the fact that everything I write is complete and utter trash. This is not a cry for an ego stroke. This is very plain and simply the agony and ecstasy that every writer endures, at least that’s the vision in my head (If that’s not the way it is for you, kindly keep your rainbow and lollipop world to yourself).

Dorothy Parker is noted for saying, “I hate writing, I love having written.” I wish it were that simple for me. I don’t always hate writing and I don’t always love having written, yet for some reason I love that I am a writer. I love it even when I hate it. Even as I sit here, struggling to finish this paragraph, desperately trying to break the curse of writer’s block, I feel like I’m at home and there is no place I would rather be. Here I sit, in the awkward silence of the word that just won’t come and I’m almost certain I’ll never have another original idea. Though, I can almost guarantee that I will come back to my notebooks and my computer again. And, again and again and again because that compulsion, it just won’t be ignored.

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