Just lately, I've been faced with my personal version of it. Rather than being filled with a tendency to wail about it, I've found myself being disassociated from it, which I'm taking to mean that this is just my way of dealing with it. Meh. The 'block' has arisen from an older piece of writing which I began three years ago around the same time as 'Signs of (a) Life', and which had been troubling me for - if I'm honest with myself - almost the entire time that it has existed. The problem is - at least partially - that it is, to all intents and purposes - finished. The bigger problem is that I hate it.
Oops! That was a little hyperbolic of me. I apologize. I don't hate it. I just wish it was very different. It's been an educational process. My stubborn refusal to put this particular project down has been a source of some inappropriate self-righteousness which I must own up to. I've felt that doggedly pursuing the end of the story has been good discipline, but it's hopefully true that keeping on keeping on has been good for my inner writer (the little wrinkled fellow with two pairs of spectacles on his forehead and one over his eyes, tapping away on a very old typewriter). Now, however, I'm faced with a great big 'BUT'. That's with one 'T'.
I'm halfway through the latest review of the piece, and even editing it has become a serious chore, not because I hate editing (I actually enjoy the process up to a point) but because I'm not enjoying the way that I've written the story.
In keeping with my motivation for writing anything at all, this work is a memoir about a particular, very affective but short period of my life. It was a time shared with two of my oldest friends, and it has been written for them as much as for my family. In fact, they've always known that I have been writing it, and I've kept them waiting for a long time now, always hoping to finish it for them and always wishing to produce something that captures the feelings of those days. Sadly, I think I've failed.
What I have before me is a work of nearly 120,000 words (that seems to be my average book length) which does not please me. Bugger. It's caused a hiatus in my thinking, and feels like a big, opaque block of spongy material sitting between me and my wish to write. I've taken the only option that I think is available to me, on the basis that this is a story that I still wish to tell to my family and to my friends.
I've started again, from the very beginning. Wish me luck!