Writer’s Block

A Big Life: Encouragement for People in the Arts 

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My bereft Kia Soul and its empty bike rack

Last Monday, someone stole my bike.

It happened in the Hawthorne District outside the Bagdad Theatre Backstage Café while I was in my screenwriting class.

On the night it was stolen, I reported it to the police, who asked the model and the brand, which I was too upset to remember, and the serial number, which I didn’t have.

What an idiot I am, I thought.

When I told my friends, they were gentle. They said things like I should get a better lock, that maybe the other person who took it was hurting and needed the bike more than me, that I shouldn’t let it destroy my peace, that I needed to get over it and let it go.

I agreed. Intellectually. But what I wanted them to say first was, “I’m so sorry. Wrong was done to you. Please cry. I am here.”

We were trying to skip some steps.

Lately I have had writer’s block.

It is a foreign place to be for someone who in a year’s time finished a full length play, a television pilot and myriad short stories.   I’ve been pushing hard, but I just can’t seem to shove myself back into that euphoric “zone” again.

Yet writing isn’t just about wringing words out of the fingers.  Writing involves thinking, feeling, processing, reveling, and fantasizing. We can’t skip those steps.

In writing an encouragement blog, I sometimes find that I skirt the more painful emotions of life.  I want people to get on with the healing.  I want myself to get on with it. But life is painful. Wrongs are done to me and to you. When they are, it’s okay for us to rant, breathe, feel, forgive others and ourselves and when we’re ready, let the wrongs go.

393

Partially consoled and dressed for Spring in Portland.

I am not an idiot.

By the way, if anyone sees my bike, it’s purple.

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11 Responses to Writer’s Block

  1. Larry S says:

    Hey Katie,
    The bike and the writer’s block both suck.
    Odd thing, though. um. you just wrote. beautifully, I might add.

    Are you breaking down your block by channeling Nicholas Cage?
    !WRITE ANGRY!

    Larry S
    Seriously, the bike thing sucks.

  2. Shirley says:

    My Dear Katie,

    I am very sorry to learn that your bike was stolen. Indeed, when something dear to us is taken our emotions experience being violated! No matter how “small” the infraction, it hurts. To deny our feelings and, as you so beautifully put, “skip this step” only injures ourselves further.

    You have “hit the nail on the head” with this one and it is a wonderful life lesson for me.

    Thank you for getting unblocked and sharing this with us.

    Love,
    Shirley

    • Katie Bennett says:

      It was a struggle…because I had to be vulnerable to write it…and I also don’t like being negative on the encouragement blog. But it’s good for me. Thanks, Miss Shirley.

  3. Joan-Carrol Banks says:

    Katie, I hope that thief comes to justice. I’m sorry that happened to you. Check Craig’s list, and go with your finger poised to dial the cops…

    • Katie Bennett says:

      Sounds scary…confronting thieves. I will try to be brave and hunt them down, argh. Sorry, in pirate mode today, ha ha.

  4. Kathy Vawter says:

    I think I’m signed up

  5. Maureen says:

    So sorry about the bike. Hopefully you’ve replaced it by now. But I found your photo of it while shopping for bike carriers for the Kia Souls. I haven’t had much luck. Do you happen to recall what brand that is so I can shop it?

    Again, here’s hoping you’re two-wheelin’.

    Thanks

  6. Brynn Rova says:

    Ugh! I get writer’s block all the time. I hate it, but I also know that forcing the words out is never good either.

  7. Gelsey Plaza says:

    I really like this post! It was so interesting how you connected your stolen bike story with writers block and then with needing to know that it’s ok to “rant, breathe, feel, [and] forgive others and ourselves.” Wonderful reflection at the end. We can’t always be beating ourselves up over something. We’re human and we’re not perfect. We’re going to make mistakes, struggle, get frustrated, etc. But that’s ok. We need to learn to accept pain and frustration, because that is life. We’re human. And yup, we’re not idiots.

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