I’m not accustomed to thinking I have writer’s block, but then I also wasn’t accustomed to thinking that when I wake up at 5:40am multiple mornings in a row and strip off sweat-soaked fleece pajamas it’s because I might be entering The Change. It feels more like being corked up than blocked, because the pressure to uncork exists and yet what feels like the provocative nature of everything I want to write about is making me so cautious that I’m no longer able to fool myself into writing about the safe harbor stories I’ve relied on for more than 13 years.
Even more strange to me is how you’d think – I’d think – that fodder for what to write piles up faster and to greater heights at the end of the year. The quantity of listicles outnumber their own length and relate to everything: the best, the worst, the top 10, the bottom 5, predictions, resolutions, regrets. And then there’s the news – guns, planes, police, football, death, birth. And travel. And holidays. And the year in review.
Still, none of this has made it any easier for me to write in the last few weeks. The ideas captured in piles of scrap paper and digital notes in my digital devices’ cloud don’t even overlap with the usual subject matter suspects. I’ve known every day that I’ve been a writer that the trope of being an open book because you write what reads to others as being personal is, itself, a deceptive and superficial critique. But the mixture of compulsion, danger and desire I’m feeling to press beyond the break walls I’ve built lead me to know that in 2015, something is going to have to give and it’s going to take courage.