I always believed that writers had an imaginary world of their own, where every story, every place, every character they had ever created resided, because I do have one. J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis had one each, and now of course we would also think of George R. R. Martin’s. Mine also has a name, but not as fancy as ‘Narnia’, so I’ll skip that part. This phenomenon, I call it a writer’s world. All the characters and all the buildings or places I’ve ever invented since I was 8 still exist for me and are just waiting for my cue to jump out to the real world and onto paper.
The thing is, I’m currently having the longest writer’s block ever. I’ve written a few short stories at the start of the year but since then I didn’t open my word processor at all (except for assignments, no choice, obviously). So it’s been around 6 months (OMG half a year!) since I last put a story on paper. I rarely think about my writer’s world anymore but when I do, it looks chaotic and neglected, instead of being the little paradise I used to go to when I was in secondary school (my writing peak years) to pick and choose characters and what not.
Today I finally realised why I am going through this writer’s block. I mean, the obvious reasons are there, which are also personal, but today I was at last able to decipher the unconscious reasons. A guess, at least. It happened in postmodern literature class, when our lecturer was briefly introducing to us the metanarrative of trauma in postmodern novels… Basically, trauma is often a gap in the author/character’s memory, and because of that gap there is a disconnection between events before and after the trauma, which leads to the traumatized subject as being stuck in a loop around this traumatic ‘forgotten’ event that he/she cannot let go but will also not acknowledge… (I have no idea if my explanation is correct; postmodern literature is still new and confusing to me, yet of course very mindblowing.)
That was when it hit me: I am stuck too. I am stuck with an idea, a story, characters I came up with a few years earlier but I was alright until I literally became obsessed with it at 16. I’ve written tons of versions of it since then and, lately, I’ve been trying to get over it and take on a new idea, because it somehow did not work, but I am still drawn back to it. I AM STUCK IN A CREATIVE LOOP. It was when my teacher said the word ‘loop’ that it all made sense. It probably does not make much sense in this blog post, but I just felt like sharing, especially that this blog has accompanied me along my writing journey for such a long time already.
There is specifically a character that I created when I was 12 and that I kept ‘alive’ in various stories that were somehow all connected by her own story. Of course, she made it to this idea I cannot move on from and now that all is chaotic, she has become its central figure. If characters are truly a facet of the author him/herself, then how is it even possible to get over myself? I cannot forget her as much as I cannot forget my own real entity in this world. And if get over trauma is also about acknowledging the trauma, I cannot acknowledge someone who has felt so real to me in my writer’s world but who is actually non-existent in the real world.
I’ve been doing some thinking and as I am writing this, the clock is showing me 2:50 a.m., but I am now determined to take action and do something about it. I am determined to start a new writing project as from this November (NaNoWriMo, probably haha and also because of school holidays): embracing a new concept but with old friends; I will stay stuck a little more in this idea of mine and with this character of mine but with a little twist. I’m not giving away the details yet because this has all been mere thoughts but at least I can confirm that, yes I am stuck, I have writer’s block, but somehow I will write my way around it. I’m not doing a writing major for nothing!
An Evil Nymph.