Breaking out of the Writer’s Hibernation
As a lover of words and a student of writing, I’ve always had this innate fear that I would no longer have anything to write about.
What I mean by that is, I would simply lose the desire to write. That anything I would ever experience, no matter how monumental or simple it is to my life, would lose its appeal to be immortalized into words. I fear I might lose my ‘second sight’ – an acquired sense which lets you perceive any object, person or a happening beyond than just the literal and the physical.
I was shaped into thinking that writers don’t just ‘live on the moment’ – they need to ‘feel’. In order to capture the moment, they need to encapsulate the wonder, disgust, awe, anger, loathing, hilarity, and other ranges of emotion into words. In short, it is usually the emotion that drives the writing. We are literally bursting with feelings, being sensitive souls that we are. Writing allows us to release that inward pressure and although it may disappear overtime, we would soon feel an unmistakable pang of regret of not ‘writing about it.’
But what happens when we stop to feel?
That was my case for the last three months. I call it writing hibernation. While writer’s block prevents you to write in the technical sense of the word, a writer’s hibernation prevents you to ‘think and feel like a writer.’ It replaces your love for learning and weaving words with indifference. A period of just living by, not living on. I felt like a passenger on a bus who is gazing through the window when something strange happens. I will just watch it with interest for a moment, think of other things and eventually forget the whole thing.
My rational side tells me that it’s all biological. Our brains like to prioritize things and activities in a day-to-day basis. It gets rid of clutter – those random thoughts, curious sights that don’t matter to our practical lives, daydreams and what-ifs – for a more pressing issues like agendas for Monday’s meetings, convincing a potential client or what to give to your significant other on your anniversary. We thought these are all too normal to write about. There’s nothing new in them anyway. And so the brain simply gets rid the thought of writing it and move on to something else.
When I logged into my blog this past week, I cringed at the number of weeks I wasn’t able to post. I looked back and thought, hey there’s nothing to write about for the past few months (no life-changing encounter, no travels, no milestones, no moments of hitting rock-bottom) so I have a perfect excuse for not writing. But this reasoning calls upon a more important question: Do I need to experience these moments just to have something to write about?
Did I lose the ability to ‘feel’?
And I know that my worst fear is starting to unfold itself before me. This is what drove me to write this post – fear, anxiety, disappointment over myself. I feel bad. I welcome and embrace this emotion warmly. After all, writing is unbiased to any emotion that propels it.
It’s fairly obvious by now but the best way to break through your writer’s hibernation is to write your way through it, just like if you have writer’s block. There is no other way.