Do you laugh when someone asks if you’re enjoying all this? Do you offer the weary smile of the knowing? Do you become earnest, try to explain that it’s work. Mime the act of hair pulling, zombie typing, an invisible noose jerking at your neck? Oh, the agony of seeing your characters float above the landscape because you don’t know where to set them, or how to introduce them to each other (Gwyn, meet Dermot, he’s going to fuck you over in chapter 33), and can’t seem to winkle out their opinions or focus your inner lens on the parts of them that matter. You immediately sound unhinged. You become the lunatic stuttering about her own particular form of madness. I opened my mouth yesterday to try to explain that I know how this story should feel but not how it should look, that the distance between one and the other is a field of mental sludge, and it’s not fun, and it isn’t easy, and no one who writes can deny the exhaustion that ensues when nothing is going right. This is what the block is. Not laziness or apathy or purism but haze, indecision. An imperfect understanding coupled with the desperate and stultifying need to put black on white. It’s incapacity. Fatigue. You are an addict without a needle, the drugs piling up on the coffee table beside you and no way to get them into your system.
Any other shitty analogies we can toss at this one?