Block, Writing

A River of Words

One thing I often wish for writers in my tweets and comments is that they will be blessed with a river of words. That’s how it feels to me when the mental dam breaks and sets the story free.

Unfortunately, I seem to be an expert dam builder, though I can’t say I know how I do that. I can never see a specific pattern leading up to these obstructions. Once I build that dam, I’m just as much in the dark on how to tear it down.

I want to write. I need to write. I cannot write.

That frustration only reinforces the dam, which leads to more frustration, which reinforces—well, you get the picture. I lay blame on this and that and the other. I distract myself. I pretend patience. I use force, trickling out a few words at a time. Eventually, I decide I have no talent and should give up.

For a while now, I’ve pretended—if I positively affirm that I’m a writer, that work on my WIP is going just swell, thank you, it will be so. Ahem. I only know that about ten days ago, I faced up to a dam of terrifying proportions. I felt like a total fraud. I was convinced I was a one-book writer. The voice in my head was screaming, “Shut up. Shut up! JUST. SHUT. UP.”

So I did. I shut up. I gave up. And that seemed entirely logical. Gloriously freeing. Long overdue. I decided to give away one more copy of Brevity, and then quietly slink away.

I planned another blog, where I could post my thoughts under a fictitious name. I would write about anything EXCEPT writing. It would be like a virtual witness relocation plan. Maybe a few people would find that blog and I could start a new online life. Eventually, if I were lucky, I would look back at my experience as a novelist with amusement.

Only, that’s not what happened.

What I thought were just my usual allergy problems turned out to be a virus, and this one settled in my chest, which for me, means a deep, wrenching cough. Naturally, this frequently interrupted my sleep. I spent a few nights in a sort of half-dream state, in which, every time I woke a bit more with a coughing spell, I “heard” people talking to me.

Sometime during the third night, I realized the talkers were the characters in the WIP I had so recently shelved. The next day, I realized they were still talking and I sat down at the keyboard. See that photo at the top of this post? Yeah, that’s what it feels like. I have so many words rushing at me now that I have to force them to stop, so I can take a break, eat a meal, go to sleep.

I’m in writer heaven. My river of words is a roaring, rushing, riotous joy I seriously doubted I would ever experience again.

For every writer reading this, I wish you a river of your own.

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18 thoughts on “A River of Words”

  1. So happy for your river of words. It happened to me last night too. We need to “Make hay while the sun shines’ as my Dad always said. (or rather write while the water flows.)


  2. what a great post! I’m so happy you didn’t go to blogger relocation.

    I think you found you’re way past the dam, stop forcing, stop caring, just listen.

    so happy for you!


    1. Sorry, Renee, I hope you find whatever destroys your dam soon. It seems to be something different each time for me. I just wish I didn’t have to sleep while this particular river is flowing wild. At least I type fairly fast. 🙂


  3. Thanks for the river of words wish, my dear friend. With me, the words usually come. I just don’t have the time to sit and write. Today I was at work at 3 am, worked 12 hrs and then spent an hour on the treadmill. I have lost 11 lbs, so I’m quite pleased with that.
    I can tell you that I am 50% through with Brevity and I love everthing that I have read so far. With the skills I have seen you put to use so far in this novel, If you ever considered walking away from your writing, I would have to come up there and knock some sense into ya’! 😉
    I’m very impressed! May it be a mighty river, indeed!



    1. I wish I had a treadmill, Jimmy. I’d velcro my laptop to it. 🙂

      I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying Brevity. I get a bit anxious every time someone tells me they’re reading it. Thanks for the offer to knock me upside the head. I need that accountability. 😉


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