Wrtier’s block — or clot

I have long been a fan of quotes that equate writes’ stories with their blood. Below you’ll find one, incorrectly attributed to Ernest Hemingway. Another version goes “Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed.”

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As it turns out — thanks to this well-researched post from Quote Investigator — the actual quote that these variants derive from was said by sportswriter Red Smith. Here it appears in as an excerpt from an interview (also via Quote Investigator):

Red Smith was asked if turning out a daily column wasn’t quite a chore. …”Why, no,” dead-panned Red. “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”

What I ultimately learned while looking for a visually appealing graphic of this quote to go with my blog post:Comparing your stories flowing through you and blood is a popular one among writers.

  1. Comparing the ystories flowing through you and your blood is a popular one among writers.
  2. As your mother says, you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

Now that we’ve tackled the second one, let’s get back to the first. Personally, this metaphor works for me, because I feel that my stories are a living, breathing thing. They are created by me, manifested from me. And, writing is a truly personal, emotional experience where I am taking a part of me and exposing it to the outside world. I suppose, to say it succinctly, both my blood and my stories flow through me, should I allow them to do so.

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In that case, it’s a blood clot

For about the last two weeks, I haven’t allowed this free flow. It’s heartbreaking because I love achieving my goals (and writing, obviously) and every day I have not participated in #Write90 has been a hit.

Through a series of seriously unfortunate events in my life, I’ve arrived at writer’s block, or a clot, if you will. I have consciously made the decision not to confront the turmoil I’m keeping tightly at bay in order to progress from one task and one day to the next. In summary, I haven’t been able to make the cut, to open the vein, to lay bare my insides on paper and examine the raw emotions I’m feeling.

The irony? It hurts just as much to keep it all bottled up. That’s why I have decided to write this blog post, to dip my toe in the water before I take the plunge and pick up my pen again this weekend!

I hope to make this Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer and beginning of fall, a time to start again. Wish me luck!

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