Published in the Daily Monitor: http://www.monitor.co.ug
That’s not true actually. I can still write as you can see if you’re reading this article. But there does come a time in a writer’s life when the act of putting pen to paper becomes rather difficult. People call it writers’ block. This phenomenon is not to be underestimated.
Being a writer isn’t like being a doctor or a lawyer or accountant. Those jobs have structure and formulae and you can perform them whether you’re in the mood or not. But not when you’re drunk. Don’t be silly. You’ll make mistakes.
Writing requires you to be in a certain mood and the mood you need to be in varies. Sometimes I’m in a bad mood and an article of rage will be offensively fantastic. Sometimes I’m in a good mood and the humor is endearingly entertaining. Sometimes I’m in an educational mood and I shall accidentally spill knowledge onto others.
There are two moods that I’ve found will finish off my writing abilities instantly.
One of them is the procrastinating mood, confound it. There I sit, with an open document before me and I really want to write, I do. But I’ll remember the new Cranberry tea bags I bought and decide it’s time to brew a cuppa’. After I’ve enjoyed the tea, I’ll think how pleasant it will be to meet a long lost friend over wine and I’ll give them a call. This can go on for weeks.
It’s not that I don’t care, but I just keep putting it off because I hear that’s what creative people do.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it
The second mood is the ‘I can’t be bothered’ mood. This is the most common. I just don’t CARE. Only one thing can shake a writer out of this not caring mood, and that is an empty bank account. All of a sudden, your fingers fly and words jump out and you even donate personal pictures to your editor for free.
I used to think I suffered from this alone until I was approached by another freelance writer friend of mine who wanted to interview me for a topic that’s not my business to reveal.
“Ooooh, how lovely!”, I told him. “You must really love what you do!”
“Not really”, he honestly replied. “I don’t feel like doing any of it at the moment. It’s just that my bank account’s in the red and I’d better get some money in”.