Writer’s Constipation · 7 May 2011

I came up with a new writing term recently. Writer’s Constipation. Actually, I experienced it recently and finally figured out what to call it. So naturally, I had to tell the world (or at least my readers, both real and imaginary) about my newly labeled condition.

Writer’s Constipation is not something to be taken lightly. If not taken care of, it can lead to an even worse condition, writer’s block. Everybody has heard of writer’s block. It is the writer’s worst enemy. Or so it seems.

Writer’s block is where a writer cannot seem to come up with that perfect first line. Or that great ending. Or that missing body paragraph or even sentence that will tie everything together. For me, it happens when I do not want to write. It is a way to make myself feel better that I am not pounding away at the keyboard getting something ready for my blog or other project.

When it comes right down to it though, writer’s block is just an excuse. It is an excuse to not get something written. It is an excuse to stay away from the keyboard or ink and paper. It is just an excuse, and as they say, “Any excuse will do.”

Thankfully, I have not had a bout of writer’s block for quite a long time. Unfortunately, I have had writer’s constipation for a while now. And like constipation of the bowels, writer’s constipation is painful.

Writer’s constipation is not an excuse not to write. It actually comes from not being able to write. For me, it happens when my nine-to-five job gets in the way. Or when my other activities get in the way. Or even when God gets in the way.

I cannot burn the candle at both ends and in the middle without quickly burning out. Which is to say, I cannot stay awake twenty-four hours a day. I wish that I could. I would get so much done if I did not need to sleep. Or if I could be refreshed with just a couple hours sleep per day. Then, I would have enough time to spend with God and family and the keyboard and still get some sleep. Alas, God did not make me that way, so often times, I go to bed with ideas in my head that I may not be physically able to put to paper until days later. This leads to writer’s constipation.

Writer’s constipation happens when I have too many ideas clogging up the pipeline. The queue is full and there is no way to get all the blogs or stories or chapters written. I get writers’ constipation when I have time to write down an idea or two, but cannot write a few hundred words.

Lately, I have had writer’s constipation. Many things are happening in life to give me ideas for blogs, stories, and book chapters. My head is busy composing all the time, but I do not have the time to write them down or develop them more fully. I am not complaining. After all, I do not want the ideas to stop. I just need the time to sit at the computer and get everything out. There is no need for fiber in my writer’s diet. I just need to write. I just need to sit down and get it all out.

Which is, of course, the cure. Writing takes care of all the writer’s ills. Both writer’s block and writer’s constipation can be cured with a healthy dose of writing. It does not matter whether the writing will win a Pulitzer or will even get published in the local newspaper. All that matters is that the writer write. When the pipeline gets regularly emptied, writer’s constipation and writer’s block go away.

I am a pretty regular guy. In more ways than one. I like to have my routine and do the important things in life. Writing is part of that routine, and as long as I am able to keep writing each week, I stay regular in my whole life. I am glad that I have writer’s constipation rather than writer’s block. At least that means the ideas are coming, even if they are not getting onto my computer.

So for now, I will suffer writer’s constipation until I can sit down and get all the ideas out. (I just hope I never get a case of writer’s diarrhea – another term I made up. But that is quite another story.)

© 2011 Michael T. Miyoshi

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  1. Clever (if somewhat unsavory) analogy. I know what you mean. Half the battle is realizing what the problem is.

    I sometimes use a small tape recorder to record ideas in the car. (But then I have to transcribe them later which is never fun.)

    You’ll figure it out.

    Christine Grote · 8 May 2011, 05:22 ·

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