Nothing There: A Cure for Writer’s Block and Other Things

It feels as if there is nothing there. There are so many things I could write about but the ‘something’ I am looking for hasn’t occurred to me yet. It’s not a bad place to start writing, but one where people usually stop. After all, what can you do if there’s nothing to do? Before I began this I could have written about David Cameron’s ‘arm candy’, whether there’s something anti-Semitic or anti-Islamic in all of the pig-presence in the news lately … but these were just thoughts in my head brought to me by some things I’d been reading, some conversations.
        The thing I need to write about has only just emerged, like some strange creature emerged from behind a rock or scurried out of a hole, or dropped from a cloud: emergence (and it’s still coming). I realise it, if I continue to think of it as a creature, was playing behind, or maybe around, or perhaps even inside, some of the work I was doing yesterday: wondering how you could think outside of a dialectical process, outside of the situation I’m presented with when I wake up, start walking around and talking, looking, listening, remembering, repeating and so on.
        Emergence. It was only there once I began writing.
        How can I get to the thing which needs to happen but which may only have been rattling around like an angry ghost, here but not here? I begin, that’s how, and I continue, allowing myself to stay with what I am writing, as if writing was a kind of breathing (if you know about mindfulness you’ll be familiar with the Zinnish exhortation to return to the breath when your mind wanders). Beginning. Writer’s block. This piece is about all of these things.
        Don’t think yourself out of writing, or of some other applications of this, this what is it? A writer’s block ointment: grieving, addiction, depression, anxiety. These are all experiences lacking a possible next step.

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