Untangling my Entanglement



On the last day of 2021, I sat at my desk ready to write. 
I woke up early, made a cup of coffee, told Alexa to play the best of Kenny G and cut a huge slice of my favourite Rum cake to nibble on. I wore my fluffy lounge wear and cosy socks. I was ready, absolutely ready to write the last few words of my new novel. I only had 4,000 more words left.

Then the unthinkable happened, I stared at my screen for more minutes than I could count and nothing. My hands didn't move, but my mouth did, finishing the cake and coffee that was supposed to last a few hundred words in only a few minutes. It was weird and uncomfortable. The ease with which my mind betrayed me. 

It was not that my mind was completely blank, actually, it was quite full with words, so much so that -

I could smell the words
I could taste the words
I could see the words
I could hear the words
I just couldn't write the words 

My mind was entangled, spun into a web of doubt, fear and insecurities. It felt so crazy to me, who stops at the finish line? Which Athlete gets close to the end and suddenly decides I don't want to win anymore? I'm not going to finish the race?

I had worked so hard to bring this story to life, but as the finish line drew so close, a million doubts edged closer and numerous questions tumbled through my mind, mixing with the words causing it to be entangled. It felt like words that needed to be present were suddenly canoodling with doubts that needed to be absent. It was a conundrum.

Just before despair set in and I started to sweat as my self imposed deadline loomed suspiciously close and my screen was still barren, I remembered a poem I wrote many year ago when I first encountered this exact same issue. It was then I learnt that beyond writers block was a more disturbing problem - writers fear! It was in trying to untangle my entanglement that I wrote the poem and it has served me well. 

As I read the poem again, I was energised and I reminded myself that the story I was telling mattered to someone even if that person was me. Fear is such a useless emotion when it is a lie. In the end, many hours later, I finished my manuscript, just before midnight, right on the brink of 2022.

I hope that as you read my poem, it also serves you well and if you ever find yourself in a place where you feel stuck and you need to give birth to words, you will remember this poem and it will encourage you to keep going.

The message is and has always been - Just write.


HOW DO I GIVE BIRTH TO WORDS

How do I give birth to words
How do I write a love letter
How do I put down my thoughts
And express my emotions better

Tomorrow I say, I'll try again
But tomorrow comes and then I say
I'll live it until later

But when my pen meets the paper
I enter emotional stutter
Am I good? Am I bad?
The uncertainty really drives me mad.

I am crippled by fear
What would the world think
What if the words I painfully bear
Becomes erased and gone without a blink

My insecurities has rid the world of laughter
My fear of rhymes has erased happily ever after
With stories left untold, t
hese lyrics for melodies I withhold

The birds cannot sing, how can this be?
I've swallowed the words its inside of me.

How do I give birth to words; and write letters for chords
Broken dreams are better than no dreams I hear
Useless words are better than no words, maybe I should dare.

I dare
I push out lyrics, my paper feels the weight
I dare
I write as my heart speaks, I've stepped out in faith

Then some said, I read with tear filled eyes
Others said, your words resembled a mirror called mine.

Words now walk in freedom, born into the world 
Fear a distant enemy, Not one to stop me.



This is way I smiled when I closed my laptop after untangling my entanglement and completing the manuscript of my new novel. 

Comments

Words Ru said…
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Joy Margetts said…
Thank you Amanda! I've been there, and writers fear is a brilliant way to put it! For me it happened 2/3 way through my second book. I was paralysed by the 'what ifs?' and 'why am I doing this?' and 'what if this book is not as well received as the first?'. It held me up for weeks! And now the book is finished, and the few people who have read it have loved it. And I'll need to remind myself of that, the next time it happens!
Thanks Amanda - this rings a bell with me as I have been trying to get to the end of something for a few weeks now. It isn't quite the same for me as I just keep writing anyway, but not really getting anywhere! But I think the reasons for it are similar to yours.
Peter Leyland said…
Hi Amanda. Sometimes it takes a poem to express things we have to deal with now, however long ago we wrote it. I re-read a performance poem to people recently and realised how far I'd come. It is just great to see how that poem helped you finish the manuscript. Well done.
Ruth Leigh said…
Amazing, encouraging blog, Amanda! I felt exactly like this as I sat down to write Isabella Three a couple of weeks ago. The words were flowing like treacle. I just couldn't get my mojo back. You're right, sometimes we simply have to trust and write anyway and it's often those words which touch our readers. Well done on getting past the finishing line just before 2022 was ushered in.
Amanda Bedzrah said…
Thanks so much for the encouraging words and sharing your own experiences as well. Writing can be a lonely journey and it's great to be in a community of people who get it.

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