Writer’s Block & the Raw, the Ugly, the REAL

By guest blogger Monica Dutcher

SOMETHING TELLS ME that vulnerability is the best prescription for writer’s block. Because when I’m not over-thinking, not self-degrading, not remonstrating over word X versus word Y and simply not being so much of what unfortunately makes me, I deliver—I nail it.

For the past several years I’ve been building walls to protect my delicate and complicated psyche from any additional pain that could be induced by human interaction or life-changing opportunities. That said I haven’t experienced much, haven’t had many friends, haven’t taken any risks, haven’t even felt the wind in my hair.

Thank God for Robert, my husband of eight months, who I met online four years ago during an intense period of hermitude. He is my complete opposite, perhaps a manifestation of the alter ego I have kept caged up for so long. He has a motorcycle, has gone sky diving, has been hurt and loved by countless friends and significant others; he simply loves life.

The bottom line is this: I—(this sentence could easily and should be restructured to fit the subject “we”)—need to let my alter ego take over a little so that I can start writing uninhibited, with reckless abandon.

I want me—plain Jane, over-analytical, worrisome Monica—to slip into sedation. I don’t want to filter everything that comes to my mind. I want whatever coming to my mind to run right through my fingertips and onto the page. That will of course require me to keep chiseling away at the walls I’ve bricked around my creative chambers, which need to be fueled by life’s experiences and observations.

I must put myself out there and I need to let what I’ve bottled up wriggle free, no matter how scary or foul or offensive it might be.

The writer’s block, the dam, has broken loose somewhat, but the filters are still there, allowing only the purest of minerals to pass. But I don’t think writing is about purity. Purity makes for a peeked story. I think it’s about the raw, the ugly, the REAL.

Life is the elixir of creativity and I need to do some more living; I need to let go of whatever personal vices I cling to out of detrimental habit. Maybe I will write something that is complete drivel and has no use in a potential article or book chapter—but the words will come out, liberated and giving a chance to the real words that have been hiding in the back of my mind to pass through the dam.


MONICA DUTCHER is an enthusiastic writer working hard and waiting to hit her stride as a published author and sought-after freelancer for major consumer magazines. She graduated with a B.A in English from the University of South Carolina-Aiken, where she received the Oswald Freshman Writing Award and Kaplan Writing Award for Excellence in Expository Writing. As the assistant editor of Augusta Magazine in Augusta, Georgia, she has proved to her scientifically-minded mother/best friend that an English degree can be put to good use (although Monica secretly frets about not making enough money). Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Monica hopes her writing career doesn’t end in Augusta and would ultimately like to live in a city like San Fran, California. When she’s not writing, trying to snag freelance jobs, working on her book, trying to capture the attention of literary agents or worrying about the future, Monica spends time with her husband of 10 months and with her parents out on the tennis court. You can learn more about her at www.inkwellalley.blogspot.com.



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5 Responses to Writer’s Block & the Raw, the Ugly, the REAL
  1. Lazy Writer
    July 30, 2009 | 12:20 PM

    This is a great post! The raw, the ugly, and the real. I love that!

  2. tumblemoose
    August 1, 2009 | 11:29 AM

    Wow Monica. Great job of encapsulating what I think a lot of writers struggle with. I can completely relate!


  3. Lesllie Tripaathhy
    August 4, 2009 | 7:51 AM

    vow..amazing writing

    god bless yu

  4. LMEighmy
    August 10, 2009 | 8:55 AM

    I've got those filters, too, but I'm learning to get past them. Great article! 🙂

  5. K.M. Weiland
    August 11, 2009 | 3:09 PM

    Great post. Writing, to be any good, has to be inherently honest. And honesty is hard enough among friends, much less when you're spilling your guts to thousands of strangers. No pain, no gain, as they say!

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