leap over the chasm

Crossing the Chasm

I don’t get writer’s block. When I start to write, I have in mind a beginning and an ending. I know where I’m starting from and where I’m going.

But the path is narrow and sometimes invisible. Once I start, I can’t be certain I’ll keep going. Inevitably, the mental Critic questions the whole project. Or the Imaginer decides it’s getting tired.

What if a few paragraphs in, or maybe a chapter or two, I’ll be terrified to go any farther? Frozen on the edge. Or at the bottom of the Metaphorical Gorge.

Sometimes, just the possibility of this is enough to keep me from starting a piece of writing. (Why do you think I’m writing this post?)

It’s not a block. It’s a chasm.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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35 comments

  1. My biggest problem with the novels I have started in recent years is that I get in a good chunk of writing and then I feel like I lose the flow, the rhythm of the story. I have four or five that I refer to as my half-completed novels. Each one gets to the 25,000 – 30,000 word stage and I feel like I’m forcing it, pushing the words out rather than following the flow that started the story. And than that internal editor pipes up and says “THIS IS CRAP!” and I become convinced I can’t finish the thing.

    You’re right. It ain’t a block, it’s a chasm.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The great thing is, that like dream-chasms, you get another chance to leap it. I’m trying to breathe life into and finish a story I started and abandoned a couple of years ago. So instead I wrote a post about how hard it is to start.

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  2. For me, I’ve stopped writing a story not because of a block or a chasm. I’ve stopped when I found that I wasn’t enjoying living within the story. My stories are daydreams set to words. So if I’m going to be daydreaming about characters and their imaginary world for the better part of a year, I want the dream to be fun. If I find it’s not, if writing becomes just work, I stop. I’m too old to work. My problem is finding a daydream I want to live in…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That makes sense. For me, the chasm is the potential gap between realizing my vision in a piece of writing and my doubts that I’m capable of doing that. Those periods of doubt aren’t fun, and it can be tough to get through them. But if the vision, or dream as you call it, no longer seems worth what it takes to realize it, it seems logical to abandon that piece of writing.

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      1. Thanks for your thoughts. The chasm you describe is the chasm I face before I start a story. Indeed, the one I’m looking down at now. I would like to write something more ambitious, but given whom I am and my life experiences, do I have that in me? With a 2 to 4+ hour hole to fill in my day and winter far from over here in Wisconsin, I hope to find the answer sooner rather than later.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. I never believed in writer’s block either. But I believe in burning out, in exhaustion, in other life problems filling your head too much, so that there is no more room for creativity, and in need for more research or brainstorming about the plot. The case of block tormenting me lately is due to life problems, stress and exhaustion.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. At a writers workshop I heard a speaker quote somebody, can’t remember and too lazy to look it up. “All stories have a beginning, a muddle and an end. It’s the muddle that discourages. If it’s a muddle for us then it will be even worse for readers. This is where the work comes into the fun of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha…is it terrible of me to admit that I find much comfort in discovering that even prolific writers such as you have the exact same chasms to cross? The mental Critic is a huge partner on all my projects. Wishing you success in managing the leap.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Audrey, your post resonates with so many and that is evident from the many thoughtful comments here. A block does sound so much more solid, unmoveable and I definitely prefer the idea of a chasm … over which one can leap with hope, expectation and a sense of adventure! πŸ˜€ Good luck with your jump onwards … and you had me smiling with your brackets of : (Why do you think I’m writing this post?) … this sounds all too familiar!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Seeing the way “writer’s block” has been used, I’ve felt for a while that there’s no writers block because if there were a real block, there would be no plans with beginnings to endings, and then there would be no writer …its something else rather than writers block

      Liked by 2 people

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