Why really do writers not write? Why?

study 1
Winter writing space …

We are told…

how to combat writers’ block (is it a myth? Or not?), to carve out time for ourselves and our writing, to spend 10 minutes writing, even if its nonsense, every day. We are told how to overcome procrastination. But in the real world of writing, what really screws up and halts creation?

 Stuff happens …

We’ve just had that thing happen, the thing which heralds winter more than the fog, switching on the central heating, or Hallowe’en.  When you go you upstairs in a lovely warm house, only to step into the bathroom, put on the light, and discover a small river now runs across from the radiator to the bath … That.

You seize the nearest bath towel to stem the river in its tracks. It is definitely not time to go to bed for a quiet read after a long day spent at the keyboard creating an imaginary world.. . Or to have a lovely hot shower where inspiration pours like water onto and into your head. It’s time to ring the emergency plumber … Not a situation to set the creative juices on their way, (unless you can incorporate the plumber of course, and throw together a bit of flash fiction (as my friend Debbie Young probably would!)

And of course there’s always stuff, happy things, (a first grandchild) and irritating things, (try to sell a house in today’s market …), re-designing a website, writing book reviews)

As we in the Northern Hemisphere plunge down into the season of cold, darkness, and bare leafless trees, we are living in dark times.

“Brexit”, the USA election prospects, the increasing violence in Syria, with destruction of cities, civilians, children, and classic artefacts, is enough to knock the idea of writing fiction out of anyone’s head. What use is fiction? What purpose does it serve?

As inside my own community, a microcosm of the world at war – discontent, destruction, disillusion are everywhere. Food Banks are common, and rough sleepers. Even the doctors go on strike over conditions of work, and are opposed by the government.

Writing feels like a cop-out, unless it changes something for the better.

The rebellion of the computer!

What a creature it is – moody and rebellious, its sensitivities rear up to block the rifles flow of words – and I do not mean by ’writer’s block’.

E-mails and messages straight from the beast itself demand attention: check your security, change your password! These could be genuine or they might be phishing. Better do as it says, change the privacy settings, but do not click on any of the addresses the email suggested.  Many of the computers complaints or demands take an hour or so of tripping between windows and websites, searching the net for forums to gain wisdom, creating new ways to access and protect your data, and even indulging in serious online chat.

My computer suffered major slowdown last spring, only solved after much trial and error, by fitting a new solid-state hard disk. The initial cause? Upgrading to EL Capitan!

Procrastination? Hardly. Unless you count avoiding beginning the work day, in order to give a stream of frustrations and interruptions.

Happy writing!

 Summer writing space (on a grey day!) 
spike on computer
On the computer, ready to help…

7 thoughts on “Why really do writers not write? Why?

  1. JacciGoodingAuthor November 2, 2016 / 4:54 pm

    Hi Mari – did you pop into my head earlier today?! Are you sure?! Glad it’s not just me then thinking all those What’s The Point? thoughts! Great post – stopped editing my short story collection to post this comment. So easily led, me


    • MariHoward November 2, 2016 / 8:03 pm

      Thanks … yes, computers and the News … glad it’s not just me too!


  2. Griselda Heppel November 12, 2016 / 8:36 am

    So TRUE, all of it! It is incredibly reassuring to know that other writers get bogged down like this (though having your bathroom turn suddenly into the crossing of the Red Sea is particularly challenging – hope all well now). My current book is going at snails pace, partly for all those computer-generated reasons but much more because family is taking up a massive chunk of my time, brain space and energy. Of course I should just getup at 5 am each day and write for two hours… Gulp. Thanks for this enjoyable, witty piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MariHoward November 12, 2016 / 10:55 am

      Lovely to know there are more of us out there!


  3. francisguenette November 12, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    Everything you share resonates, Mari. Life does happen. Stuff gets in the way. It is soooo frustrating but what can we do? The world is too much with me these days – definitely. The pipes burst, the water rises – fitting metaphors. People make demands at the same time they ask – hey, what’s happening with your new book? One could scream. Carving out the time to write feels like jack hammering concrete. Well, misery does love company. Many thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dunelight December 11, 2016 / 3:15 am

    Apple. I practice safe browsing but I’m having to reboot more often as proprietary little sh*ts like Apple, Google, MicroSoft…FaceBook…make our cyber lives more difficult unless we pledge express fealty to them and them ONLY…and slow our navigation amongst their competitors in the name of profit.

    I’m getting’ tired of Apple’s sh*t. No charging port on the new iPhone, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

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