Writer’s Paralysis

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Maybe you’ve been here. It’s more than just writer’s block. Maybe it started after the loss of a loved one. Maybe you were diagnosed with cancer. Maybe your child has pulled away from you to the point that you’re not sure they’ll ever come back. Usually, it takes something life-changing. Sometimes, it doesn’t. Maybe all this horrible news is depleting you. Maybe you’ve received too many rejections. Maybe you’ve just given up hope for anyone ever noticing your talent. Or, maybe you’re lost.

It’s okay. Now, reread what I just said. It. Is. Okay.

This is where you are. Here. Today. Now. You are going to stand up. You are going to put one foot out in front of you. (No, we’re not doing the Hokey Pokey.) You are going to begin to move. And you will keep moving forward.

Yes, the world will continue to swirl in all of its ugly and dangerous and beautiful and incomprehensible glory. Babies will be born and people will die. Wars will be fought and diseases will be cured. The hungry will eat and the rich will pay. You are here. Right now. In the middle of it all. Be in the world, but also above it. Take note of what you see and help where you can, but don’t become the pain. Rise out of it. You only have control over yourself. Others may hurt you. Others may love you. They may be selfish. They may save you. There will be days when you’re the luckiest person on earth. There will be days when nothing means anything, anyway. But you will be okay. And, when you are ready, you will write again.

Now, repeat after me: When I am ready, I will write again.

Now, go. Live.

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About MidwestVoice

PUSHCART PRIZE nominee, winner of the Beullah Rose Poetry Prize from SMARTISH PACE, and Semi-Finalist for AMERICAN SHORT FICTION's Short(er) Fiction Prize, Jennifer Pruiett-Selby lives in rural Iowa with her husband and five children. Her work has found homes with PRAIRIE SCHOONER, SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW, NOTRE DAME REVIEW, CALYX, HOBART, PINCH, LUNCH TICKET, H_NGM_N, and her column, 'Awkward in the Midwest,' appears with EASY STREET MAGAZINE. A woman of contradictions, Jennifer joined the military to find peace. Afterwards, she earned a Master’s in English from Iowa State University, an institution whose focus and funding lies with science and technology—not liberal arts. She now owns the local newspaper with her husband in his hometown, where her search for peace continues in the form of meditation through writing.

6 responses »

  1. Thank you for posting. This is so true. I’ve been out of sorts this week and haven’t done much with the platform challenge or blogging. There will always be tomorrow, until there isn’t, to get going again. Cheers!

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