I suffer from writer’s block because I am resistant. In a strange way, I feel compelled and simultaneously repelled from writing my stories.
I believe on some level I am called to write, but just like Jonah and the Whale, I want to hide from it.
Just about five minutes ago, I realized exactly what is causing my resistance.
The pressure to conform in my writing is even stronger than the pressure to conform in my relationships, because writing seems to have a more permanent, powerful impact. Spoken words can fly into the atmosphere and be lost to the memory. Words texted, typed and handwritten often stay a while longer.
In my memoir, a story that now has a real name and several workable chapters, I’m uncovering the myth of my performance as a virtuous, approval-worthy woman to find the human struggling under the weight of dogma, familial expectation, gender expectations and cultural norms. It is difficult to write not because I am trying to remember what exactly happened to me the year I lived as a single mother, but because I’m afraid to claim that I am filled with passion, desire and rebellion. These are things that as a woman and a mother I have been told to put away or to never acknowledge.
So now it has become complicated and tedious to unpack the truth. Yet as I learn to recognize the influence of standard ways of being that make me afraid to write what might be harshly judged, I will work with the oppression as if it is a weight machine at the gym.