Personal Journey

A is for Albatross

AI received an email* from one of my students. His problem: writer’s block. I think he knows there are better-written articles on the subject by better-written writers than me. But I’ve been where he is.  I’m there right now actually. You see, were it not for that A, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be watching nine hours of Pride and Prejudice because my lungs feel like they were swapped for cement blocks. I’m coughing them up and wadding them into tissues.

Until a few days ago my pen was a firehose. I had to push the words away and take up the vacuum for responsibility’s sake.  That was then. Today, Day 1 of the A to Z Writing Challenge, I’ve had to pry these words for you with the jaws of life. You won’t be able to tell, because to you they’re just here. This post is me squeezing my stone until my fingers bled. That’s how much I didn’t feel like it today, dear student. That’s how one overcomes writer’s block.

Were it not for the A to Z Challenge, I would not be here on this screen, frustrated, wanting art to sally off the tips of my fingers, my mind to yours. Any old barf can go on the page. The words other people will see, those are more carefully chosen. Hedge yourself into a place where you’ll be forced to procure words someone else will see, whatever flavor works for you. Here are a few: Nanowrimo, Cracked Flash Fiction, Mashed Stories.

Because if I didn’t have to hit publish, I would not have finished.

Writing is my self-styled albatross. I’m glad of it. Even on the rough days.


*Email from my student:

Hello Mrs. Griffiths, I have a question to ask. I have serious writers block and I for some reason, I can’t get into my writing flow as quickly as before. I have been only ably to write two or three sentences, and then all of a sudden, its like the writing waves get clogged. This has been going on since the beginning of the year. It’s actually becoming very frustrating because this has never happened before. The longest writers block has ever lasted for me was two hours. I don’t know if I need to have a change of scenery or if I need to change anything. So how do I unclog that writing wave so I can get back into my usual writing flow? – Joshua 

If you know of any great sites, contests, or tips for my student (or me!) we’d love to hear from you! 🙂

10 thoughts on “A is for Albatross”

  1. I had a very lean period for last few months. I had not written anything. Keeping a clear head and let the writing come to you. I dont know what exactly that means , lol , but yes we can avoid Albatross with peace of mind :D. I am not sure whether i used it to make a proper sentence!!!

    Found the word very interesting and awesome… Good luck 🙂

  2. I know the feeling. It’s either the well of ideas and words has dried up or the jumble in my head is too confusing to put anything down.

    I’ve learned though that you just have too keep writing. I’ve written some stuff I thought was garbage then I went back to it a week later and say hey I can rewrite this to something beautiful.

  3. Sorry you are still feeling sick! I loved your post. You are so talented with word choice and placement! Feel better sis.

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Well, you write beautifully. Writer’s block happens to me all the time. I just make myself write anything – non-sense, a song, a blog entry, flash fiction. As for your student, I feel for the lad. My daughter is in her last semester of college, an English major, and writer’s block has plagued her last 4 years. Great topic but best I can do is assure you that you are not alone.

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