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Finding the Words

by Tab Moura

I usually realize I’m feeling this way when the clock reads 12am and I’m still staring at the cursor. Just waiting for the right glimmer of an idea to hit me. It’s not very complicated really, writing isn’t the problem… it’s the symptom.

Cannabis – Crossing the Barrier, by Tab Moura

I’ve shared about my insomnia before. While so much of my issue is managed with exercise and cannabis, there is this other side that’s truly just psychological, and honestly is probably a little neurotic… I can’t sleep, because I have more to say. 

When I’m in writing mode, I toss around ideas in my mind first. I mostly imagine pictures, or songs, or funny things I heard that day, and I debate what feelings those things give me… is it happiness? Nah, that word tastes a little too vanilla. Maybe it’s joy? Mmm, too pure. Nostalgia. That’s the word. Inside jokes. Grandma’s secret recipe. Favorite hiking spots. Flipping through a yearbook. Nostalgia. Finding the right word can feel so satisfying.

How does one choose between words that so many people use interchangeably? Writers deal with this all of the time, people write blogs on writing blogs. It’s a universal struggle; From deep wells of synonyms— to nada. There is no in-between. While we love writing so much that we cannot sleep, we can also be so disconnected from our work that we cannot put our words into sentences for months.

I don’t know which struggle I’ll have on any given day, but I guess that’s just how it goes when you write. Maybe you like to write, but writer’s block feels so hard to get past. Find your process. Start simple. Describe a feeling, as accurately as possible, or paint a picture in your mind and try to describe it. Write the cheesiest love poem you can think of… but don’t stop staring at that cursor. What if writer’s block isn’t real, it just sometimes takes a few hours, or months, to find the right words— and that’s part of what makes you a writer.

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