A woman author once said this to me during a workshop on improving writing productivity. ‘I hate writing, but I love writing.” It sounds absurd, but I knew what she meant. Writing was her primary passion and yet she felt emormous resistance to doing it at the same time.
This inner contradiction is a common feature of writing blocks, and a source of great turmoil and suffering. It’s as if your psyche is divided by powerful, competing impulses, neither one of which wants to give up. In addition, if you avoid writing a profound uneasiness will plague you, but if you pursue it a monsoon of dread descends upon your head. Sheesh!
This hardly seems fair, and it isn’t. And if you attempt to find someone to blame it on (which is only natural) you’ll soon see how hard it is to conclusively identify the culprit. Even if you have a pretty convincing theory about who is to blame for this mess (self or other), it doesn’t really help you. It is you alone who needs to sort the problem out and find a way to contain the love/hate contradiction and not let the inner turmoil prevent you from writing.
“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
Perhaps Walt provides a a clue to working with the issue. After all, he contained a bunch of contradictions and was able to write quite a bit during his lifetime. What if we allow these two supposedly antagonistic forces both have their appropriate place in our mind?To just feel these different impulses and to consider them as only two parts of the multitudes you contain. Maybe then uneasiness wouldn’t make you feel so uneasy and dread wouldn’t be so dreadful.