The Battle

I’ve done a lot this year. But I have done less writing than many previous years. People–even other writers–will ask “Do you have writer’s block?”

It’s not like that. I am never dry facing a blank page. That’s not the block.

The block comes way before that.

Virginia Wolfe writes beautifully about a write getting “a room of one’s own” in which to write.

I imagine that room. I have had that room. It is wonderful. This oasis of creativity, a place to form sentences and metaphors, I know it well.

If I could get to that spot, it would be glorious. But that room is fortified. I have to storm the castle to get there.

It’s a scary castle, surrounded by a moat. I can’t just waltz into that castle and skip up to the room of creativity. Oh no!

A battle is raging. The castle is inviting me, but it’s not that easy. I can’t walk directly forward unimpeded. My phone will buzz, with calls and texts and emails. Take care of those first.

And oh that’s right, I am supposed to do this paperwork the deadline is coming up. And what about the school trip?

It’s a mountain to climb to earn that room.

Steven Pressfield talks about The War of Art. How we’ll do anything to avoid the final act of creation, because it’s so terrifying.

But I did not invent these things coming at me! Every single one of them is important.

As I write this out, I am talking myself into recognition. To paraphrase, the important will always be with us.

I want that room.

Can it be important if I just want it?

Only if I decide it.

I can read stories about how other people get to the castle.

For me, I know, it takes a lot of deciding.

And planning.

It will take a while. But I want back in that room.