I would categorize myself as an Extroverted Introvert (yes, it’s a thing). Most people would be surprised at the Introvert part because I’m generally very social. However, like most Introverts, I absolutely must have my recharge time. Now, even being social, I’m not one who enjoys talking on the phone under most circumstances. Yesterday was one of those days, tho, when I simply did not want to talk to anyone. At all. No texts, no emails, nothing. I decided to bury myself in writing and sat down to write a blog post.
And so I sat there, intermittently playing Candy Crush and waking my computer to look at a blank screen. I didn’t want to write a blog post. I mean I really didn’t want to. Irritated at what I labeled writer’s block, I put the laptop aside, grabbed my journal, and started writing about not wanting to write. Lemme tell ya, the words flowed like hot lava. WTH? I realized, in and through my furious journaling, that it wasn’t that I didn’t want to write — I didn’t want to talk to my blog audience.
This epiphany made me look at other times I thought I suffered from writer’s block. Could it be, I wonder, that I slip into writing for a specific audience instead of just writing the story? Hrm.. me thinks we’re onto something.
Perhaps I’ve been in the technical/business/non-fiction writing realms too long. The first rule in that type of writing is to know your audience. With fiction, there are no rules. Okay, I know that’s not literally true – there are definitely some rules, or at least guidelines. Obviously if you’re writing a genre like children’s lit, you need to write for that type of reader, letting this guide your language choices and style and rhythm and whatnot. But in the grander scheme, do fiction writers write for their audiences? I’m intrigued by this idea and have made mental notes start keeping a closer eye on it. For a true extrovert, having an audience in mind may actually help. All of this stream of consciousness is purely theory salted with speculation. I’d be interested in knowing if anyone else experiences this type of mental block. The next time I’m trying to avoid writing I’ll have to do a bit of research to see if there’s anything out there on this topic.