Writer's block

(Please note, because of the time that has passed since I wrote this article, it may no longer reflect my current views or the most accurate and complete information available on this subject.)

One of my favorite magazines, and one of the only ones I subscribe to, is The Sun. It's an ad-free publication of interviews, short stories, poems, and reader-submitted material that tends to engage the human experience in really amazing ways. It's sort of a hidden treasure in the world of magazines - either people tend to love it, or have never heard of it. They have a section every month called "Readers Write," where they pick a theme and ask readers to submit personal stories and experiences that relate to that theme.

Almost every month, I see the list of themes and think about what I would write about. I start to compose the words in my head. And then I look at the submission deadline for that topic (usually just weeks away) and then at the publication target for accepted pieces (usually many months away), and I tell myself that I'll come back to it later to actually send something in.

I've been a subscriber of the Sun since 1999, and I have not yet gotten around to submitting anything to them. I'm not sure if it's because I can't experience the instant gratification of having my writing accepted (or rejected) like I can with a weblog. Or maybe it's because I still have such a hard time letting myself write about things that other people are writing about. Or maybe it's because I know I would be submitting something for someone else to judge or value, and I'm not confident or vulnerable enough. Or maybe it's pure laziness, apathy.

Whatever it is, it's a form of writer's block that seems ridiculous and intimidating to me, yet very important to overcome.

2 thoughts on “Writer's block

  1. i think about that same stuff when i read the sun! let's make a pact to actually start submitting things. we won't always be moved by the topic, so maybe we could pledge to find SOMEONE to submit each month...anyone interested?

  2. Someone once said there is no such thing as writer's block, only a failure of will.
    Maybe. Maybe not.
    There is something to the notion of making a pact to write, whether it is with a friend, or with oneself. The trick is, at least I've found, to write something every day. Like running, bicycling, horseback riding, singing, teaching, or being a computer wizard -- when you engage in the practice of the work, then work becomes a practice (in the zen way of things) and you, the practitioner become one with your work.
    The Sun would like that, I think...

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