The last time I really enjoyed writing was in January when I did the month of poetry. Since then every word has had to be painfully extracted. Even these sentences are staggering from my fingers. There is no flow. I feel like I have developed a stutter, like I just can't get the words out. I feel like I have fallen out of love with writing. No, I feel like writing has fallen out of love with me.
I have whole novels that I am carrying around in my head, novels I feel convinced could be beautiful books, but the lines drop down on the page and clatter. I have no voices. No one is whispering in my ear. Sometimes I push through and write anyway, but still the voice doesn't come. Sometimes I wait but the waiting is hard and painful...what if I wait forever? Shouldn't I just sit down and get it done? I sit down, but it doesn't get done.
I have written words – thirty thousand of them in fact – spread among two novels this year. One complete, but wrong, but broken, and I look at it, poor broken thing and can't even begin to fix it. I am making little lives and then abandoning them half done, a neglectful god.
Oh yes, I know. I hear you. I have a two year old. But I have two year olds before, and pregnancies and breastfeeding and night weaning and tiredness and competing priorities and distraction and yet the voices never left me before.
I remind myself that writer's block can be a form of depression. I go to see a psychologist just in case. After three visits I am fairly sure I am not actually depressed. Tired sometimes. Struggling a little, could end up there if I don't implement strategies. But I am pretty sure I'm not chemically, clinically sad.
I just can't write.
The psychologist says, what would happen if you took time off writing? And I think, but then I am just a mother. Then I am just a really crappy housewife. Ah, she says. Ah, you say. Ah, I think. How telling. But I don't want to take time off, not really. What I want is the voices back. I miss them.
Even this blog lies empty.