The Source of Writer’s Block

I’ve succumbed to a bit of writer’s block since Sunday. Everything written has been tossed due to its scattered nature and ineffectiveness. I haven’t been able to get it together, though I’ve tried over and over again.

It’s a shame for a writer when the blockage rears its ugly head. There is nothing more frustrating.

I’ve been busy, too, and the abundance of good stories have led me back to the computer for try after try.

Yesterday I Skyped with my eighty-six year old grandmother whom I only met this past Thanksgiving, but whom I love like I’ve known my whole life. I’m learning to see my physical self a little more clearly through my relationship with my biological family. It was telling when Grandma complained about her medicines making it difficult for her to take off some extra weight she’d been carrying. It seems that our weight stickage is a genetic issue for all of us and I will probably continue my own struggle with the scale until I’m an old lady myself (rocking on a porch petting cats, no doubt).

On Tuesday I visited Target with my big girls who were being rewarded for their own tush wiping (finally) with big girl cups (the baby ones are being phased out). It’s a happy day when mothers finally get their kids potty trained. It’s a whole separate party when the kids no longer need assistance in the wiping department. A new sense of freedom all around.

Last night my husband’s friend Neal came over to install a couple of ceiling fans. I popped up excitedly when he entered the house with his daughters’ new husband, who incidentally is from Nepal. Vinod and Alecia met during her first year of college when she was visiting and volunteering in a Nepali orphanage. They fell deeply in love, these two from opposite sides of the world, and I’ve watched their story grow through uploaded images on facebook.

Neal’s daughter isn’t even out of college and yet he and his lovely wife Marcie have embraced this beautiful boy and the marriage of their eldest daughter. When Vinod called Neal, “Dad,” while handing him the proper screw for fan installation my heart melted a little. I love a good love story; a real one not found in a book. What moved me as much as the love story between the kids was the love involving the family. Baring witness to great parenting and the embracing of children’s dreams cannot be pushed aside or ignored. It’s an extraordinary love that when seen must be acknowledged.

It’s funny how the words can flow when I get a grip on what’s been bothering me causing decent writing to get stuck in the deepest corners of my head.

Christine, from Love, Life, Surf  posted a piece that I read this morning about being labeled.

This week, I too was faced with one of the labels that I can’t seem to come to terms with.

This is the crux of my issue; the source of the block.

On Monday I went to visit to my doctor who has been there for me through ultrasounds with absent heartbeats, D&C’s, crazy pills and way too many tears. That much history gives someone enough knowledge about a person to have frank conversation.

Needless to say I was anxious about the visit.

That morning I put on mascara, which I never do because it hurts my eyes,  in an attempt to look together. This was dumb, because all the reasons that I’m not together were imprinted in my file; proof of my past heartbreaks and medications and the reasons for them all permanently etched in black ink.

Everything was going fine until she went to check my weight.

“You don’t want to know what you weighed a year ago, Martha. My experience with you is that you eat when you’re sad. What’s going on?”

She’s efficient, my doctor, I must give her that.

Without missing a beat I put on my biggest smile in an effort to convince her that I had everything under control.

“I’m not sad!” I exclaimed.

“I ran a marathon!”

“I’m not taking Metformin anymore!”

“Brian and I are getting along!”

“Yes, we’re having sex!”

“Yes, I’m getting sleep!”

“No, I’m not depressed!”

“I’m blogging! I write! I’m doing things that make me happy!”

It all came out so fast; a high pitched attempt to convince Dr. Polly that I was totally A-Okay.

Driving home I was shocked by not only my behavior, but that feeling deep inside that pointed to self-loathing.

Am I a fraud? I blog about healthy living, yet I was just faced with all the ways I’m not.

In my anger I began to repeat the mantra, “I am more than a number on the scale!”

She hadn’t come out and labeled me fat, but the silent judgement rang in my ears.

The more I thought about it, the more anxious and angry I became.

I got home and the typical response to those kind of feelings took hold.

A chocolate chip cookie here, a bowl of ice cream there, a handful of marshmallows have no fat, dark chocolate is good for you, have a little more.

Food as comfort. Dammit. There it is.

Jenny C. may not be happy with me at my weigh in this morning, but it will be good to talk to someone about this pattern that I so easily slipped into in the moment my control of life seemed unmanageable. The moment that it wasn’t shiny and happy and not just perfect.

Perfection. None of us fit that description.

Happiness. It isn’t possible to be so all the darned time.

Managing. Living the best we can and recognizing our weaknesses.

Forgiveness. Believing that we deserve it, even when all signs point to the lack of perfection.

I am a work in progress.

I am more than a number on a scale.

I am a writer. I am a mother. I am a daughter and a wife. I am strong. I run. I care about people. I don’t lie. I am fair. I have worth.

With the post finally written I’m going for a run.

I feel best when my body is in motion. Somehow when moving the labels have less ability to grab hold and the fresh blood that surges through my body gives me renewed peace and comfort to be exactly who I am.

Writer's block.
Writer's block.
~overcoming writer's block
Overcoming writer's block.
Muscle weighs more than fat. It's true...
Maybe. Maybe not.

14 thoughts on “The Source of Writer’s Block

  1. Loved this post Martha. I too have been having issues with writing and weight lately. I started my blog for myself, as a way to be creative and write, which I really enjoy doing. I also wanted to share my love of working out (and fashion and beauty) with others. Now that people actually read what I write, I have more anxiety about it. It’s not coming as easily. I’ve started to think everything I put down is s**t. Couple this with some very tight clothing lately (despite my 6 days a week in the gym) and I’m not feeling my best. How long am I going to continue to beat myself up about my weight/size/body type? Should I just be happy and accept it? Shouldn’t I just be content with being strong, fit and healthy? Or should I always be striving to be better (read: thinner)? Thanks so much for sharing your own experiences. It’s wonderful to be able to connect with other women and know you aren’t alone in how you feel.

    1. We really aren’t alone. We are writer’s, though, and we’re lucky to be able to share and appreciate each others truths!

      By the way, the scale went down a pound. Of course I was glad, but I was more glad to get your comment today. It means so much more to me!

      Perspective is key, I guess. Still, I probably will struggle with wanting to be thin over being fit for the rest of my existence. I hope not, but if that’s the case at least we have blogging to remind me that I’m not alone! xx

  2. Love this so very much. I’m so happy that my post connected with you and hope that it leads to a bit more forgiveness and understanding for both of us. You are so much more than the number on the scale. We are all works in progress. My favorite: “Forgiveness. Believing that we deserve it, even when all signs point to the lack of perfection.”

    1. Isn’t it funny how one person’s writing can stimulate the need in someone else to share? I love it when it happens! It’s like the universe is looking out for me and sending me signs by gifting me with blogs like yours! xx

  3. I am not a writer but stuggle with the same healty living/blogging issue too. I had a blog for several months and enjoyed every minute of it. I read alot of other blogs and then the comparisons started!! So in a haste I deleted mine!! Totally!! A few days later I was so upset wih myself for deleting it. Something I enjoyed yet I felt not healthy enough, fast enough or thin enough. With the encouragment of my family (many of whom contacting me to find out what happened to my blog) I started up a new one! No more comparing myself! Excellent post!! Thanks for sharing:)

  4. I LOVE that image you posted about real writers and artists being scared to death. I deal with this daily, as I post on my blog and attempt to write my first book. It’s challenging to take the leap of faith that I could be like those writers I admire so much. ME.

    Also, I am so encouraged when “healthy living bloggers” share what is REALLY going on in their lives, rather than just hiding behind a mask of Pollyanna optimism. All of us have hard times in life, and go through struggles. By sharing yours, you become relateable to all your readers who are also struggling. And by sharing how you overcome the odds, you inspire us to do the same.

    1. You are sweet to comment!

      I’m intrigued about your book writing. My goal is to do some research for mine this summer and then begin to write it in the fall. I’ve been reading a lot about first time authors….it’s an amazing task!

      Will be following you as you work toward your goal!

    1. Thanks so much Amy! Coming from you that’s a huge compliment! Just read a bunch of your posts… terrific work!

  5. Hell, have I been here. In fact, I had aTHREE MONTH writer’s blockage recently. It sucked and I hated it. I love how honest you are about your life – we all have struggles and messiness. That means we are human and therefore uniquely awesome. Or, something. Yeah.

    1. Thank you! I love blogging, because it feels so much like journaling, though there’s always a worry that I’m over-sharing.

      I’m intrigued by your book writing! I feel like I’ve got a novel in me, but it’s a matter of getting started! Thanks for the comments!

      1. I love writing about yoga! I was just thinking of writing a series of posts about the eight limbs and how they have appeared in my own practice. So many people are frightened by the unknown and all that crazy talk about limbs, etc., but it’s really accessible when described with actual experiences!

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