Stacey Loscalzo wants to write, tries to write and, at first, can’t write. Many of us can identify with the writer’s block out of which her essay, Writing Together, arises. All the possibility in the blank screen is too much; the perverse oppression of self-doubt closes us up and holds us back:
I could write about everything and nothing. It feels that it would be so easy to write if only I didn’t have to choose the topic. We were given prompts, but even these are not specific enough to get me through this writer’s block. Any idea that comes to me seems trivial and boring. Why can’t I come up with a single original idea? And who would want to read what I write anyway?
Remembering that words once came more easily can make the struggle worse, but Loscalzo finds encouragement and inspiration in her relatively unselfconscious daughter, who writes as she herself once did–with pleasure and with pride. Mother-writers often regard their children as a topical inspiration, but like Loscalzo’s daughter, our children can further our literary work in many ways, whether they know it or not. How do your children help you to crawl out from under writer’s block? Has raising a young writer changed the way you approach your own writing process?
Submit a 500-word response to this writing prompt by August 18 for feedback from our editors. Email it to LMreflectionsATliterarymamaDOTcom and note “Writing Together” in your subject line. We’ll publish our favorites on the blog.