I can’t write and it terrifies me

Naëmi Ansovald
Oct 30, 2019 · 3 min read

I’m sitting at my desk, in my Spyro onesie, on the verge of tears. I can’t seem to get comfortable. I’ve been struggling with writer’s block for months and now when I sat down again to write, with a fresh idea hoping it would be different, I couldn’t do it.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

All through my childhood writing was my thing. I could sit for hours writing incoherent crap I somehow thought was flawless without even an ounce of editing. It was incredible.

What happened to her? The kid with more ideas than her head could fit and a desire to write stronger than gravity itself. I could travel through universes with my old hand-me-down laptop while sitting uncomfortably at the coffee table.

I haven’t been able to write since July, but I lost my spark years before that. Maybe it was during high school when I was hellbent on getting grades I knew I wouldn’t use or need. Maybe it was earlier than that. I can only look back at that little girl, writing her sure-to-be the next hit fantasy series, with a mix of amazement and longing. I lost her along the way, too.

I’ve tried to fix this, so damn much. I’ve taken time off, I’ve tried push through. I’ve exercised, done yoga, meditated, read books and articles, talked about it and asked for help. I’ve tried every trick and nothing. I’m still as stuck as I was 4 months ago.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

Have I just… lost it? Is it gone? Was the ability to write without end lost as that little girl grew up? How come 10-year-old me with her body image issues, self-hatred and non-existing self-esteem could write so damn much? Wasn’t it suppose to get easier when I got past all that? Or has it just morphed into something bigger and uglier that stole my creativity to punish me?

I’m terrified. What if this is it? What if I can’t do it anymore?

Writing, creating, has been the one thing I could do. That made me special, that made me matter. When I was last in school and when no one wanted to be with me, I could always sit down and write. No matter how bad things got I always had that at least. That no one could take away.

Now I’m crying. Great.

I read that creativity is located in the frontal lobe of the brain, and when we don’t feel as creative it’s because another part of the brain is in charge. So we can’t “lose” our creativity, only lose access to it.

I don’t know if that is true, or how uplifting that sounds either. So you can’t lose your creativity, but you may never be able to reach it? It’s sounds like having a cake in an unopenable box. Is there really any different from it not existing? You won’t get cake either way.

I saw in a video that the way to overcome writer’s block was to write about it, that it’s the way writers process things. I thought I give it a try (I mean, I can only fail again, right?). But what if I’m not a writer? What if I’m just someone who can put words together but lack substance? How do I process things then, when my entire identity is built on a false self-image?

I want to write so bad. I want to create. I can’t stand the thought of a 9–5 office job, typing numbers on a computer, longing for Friday afternoon before the weekend even ends.

I have so many things and projects I want to do, but I don’t want to start them if I’ll lose them too. A pretty dream is better than an ugly reality. At least when the thing that kept you happy is slowly being torn away from you.

I recently learned that the root of all fear is the belief that we can’t handle the outcome. It’s true. Because if I’m not able to write anymore, I won’t be able to handle that.

More From Medium

More from Naëmi Ansovald

More from Naëmi Ansovald

More from Naëmi Ansovald

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade