Writers block?

I enter into this dialogue in the hope of some catharsis. I have a problem which, when said out loud, sounds rather banal if not a little ironic; my problem is writing! There, I have said it in a public arena, I cannot write. This seems to most people to be one of the most basic skills learned from a very early age along with reading and arithmetic so why am I finding it so difficult?

I don’t think it is writers block. I do write, my supervisor will provide testament to the fact that thousands of words regularly land in her inbox, I just do not seem to be able to express myself or locate “me” in the narrative. I am stuck between trying to portray my understanding of the story and providing an accurate account of the things that my very kind participants have told me. Am I telling my story or theirs?

Thinking back I have a suspicion that this may be rooted in my clinical background. I am not used to telling stories, more distilling the whole into bullet points; losing all of the nuances that it would seem I should be including in my current work. This I can see is not going to do justice to the stories told to me by volunteers and maybe it is this pressure that is preventing me from being able to just run free with my text.

People volunteered for my project believing that their experiences were going to help inform and hoping that in the future this may assist the experiences of others, no pressure there then!

That said, and rather perversely it would seem I can talk. Those of you who share an office with me would say that talking is one of my well practiced talents, if talking were an Olympic sport I would have the vocal chords to compete with the best! Whilst this talking talent has at times got me into trouble it has also talked me out of trouble and in many respects enabled me to do a good job at interviewing participants; when I remember to stop talking and let them speak! Maybe this could be the answer to my dilemma, I could record my narrative. It would take me until the Rio Olympics to transcribe but at least I would be using an existing talent to overcome a current deficit. So should anyone see me apparently talking to myself this is not the first sign of madness, I will in fact be committing my thoughts and musings to digital recording so that I, and my supervisor, are spared the agony of any further written ruminations.

2 thoughts on “Writers block?

  1. Jess

    For the last few weeks listening to “Phantom of the Opera” seemed to help me write analytically. This week it seems that the “Four Seasons” by Vivaldi is doing the trick!

  2. Amie Hodges

    Having just attended the session on Academic Writing in the Social Sciences (Introduction) run by Sara Delamont, I have now discovered that the Golden Rules of writing are:
    1) Write early and write often
    2) Don’t get it right, get it written
    I guess I have been focusing too much on reading and thinking!! so thanks to Sara’s wise words – it is time for me to get writing. I guess replying on the blog for the first time is a start for me.


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