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Why the writer’s block?

4th September 2018

I want to bring about a greater degree of professionalism to my art practice so I need to get organised and change entrenched habits. More precisely, I need to address one aspect of my practice; my writing, which I struggle with. Why do I want to write more? Because I need to be more confident in the way I think, talk and present my work. 

For me life and art are intertwined. My work revolves around self-location, the domestic sphere and gender issues. I love the making process, especially when I’m working at Leicester Print Workshop or the ceramics studio at Fosse Arts. At home it’s a little harder. 

I have a studio in the house, which I like. It keeps the cost down, allows for immediacy of arrival at work but…. And this is despite a self-imposed division of week and weekend tasks, I find I do little of my own work in the home studio, being distracted by general life administration, stuff around my parent’s legacy and other diversions of my own making. 


  • Lack of discipline
  • Lack of self-belief
  • Dyslexia
  • Timidity


Why do I continuously push the written aspect of my practice to the bottom of the list? Why do I demote its worth and allow myself to be diverted by other stuff?

I am interested in how ideas are formed and their interconnectivity, and I like researching around a subject. But I fail to write-up these thoughts comprehensively or consistently. And when I do finally complete an essay I do nothing with it. 

Writing is hard work, and being a dyslexic makes it even harder. But I want to express myself in words, wrestle with them and put them into a form. I have things I want to explore via words as much as I do in other mediums. Words are just another tool in my art box. So why do I find it so hard to write? All dyslexics internalise the idea that they are stupid, it is hard to shake free the stigma that becomes inherent by not being able to read and write alongside ones peers.

Inspiration for new pieces of work comes upon me unexpectedly. My mind can be blank or engaged in another thought or observation and then, like an email pinging in, I know what I must make. The reasons behind the idea, the why, what for or what it means do not come into it.  It is just an innate drive to make. 

To rationalise and effectively express what my latest creation means is the bit I find really difficult. To speak and describe, even the methodology, makes me tongue tied, stodgy. I come across as unenthusiastic about what in reality I love doing and am privileged to be able to do. 

I can’t stop the voice in my head that says, ‘No one is interested in your ramblings, neither you or your work is worthy of being considered.’ I can’t talk intelligently or even coherently about what the work means and I downgrade it to insignificant even before it finished. 

I understand that a few well-chosen words, a good sound-bite, helps the work zing, but it does not come easily. Maybe I am being stubborn, resistant, lazy even, as one has to work at this stuff. Worst, I probably come across as arrogant when really I’m just shy and under-confident. 

In reality it is part of everyone’s job to explain what and why they do whatever it is that they do, so why not me? I don’t know if it is fear of being pinned down and corralled by what has been said or written, or fear of denigrating the work to a superficial level or misinterpretation. Maybe there’s a superstition that over sharing my creative impulse will make it dry up and it will be lost to me. 

Or am I afraid that making time to write will mean I have no time to make? I think not. Do I need to choose? Or do I just need to get organised and view it more pragmatically? Learn to productively make use of my time, doing what is right for me rather than what I think others require of me? 

So I need to get organised, to prioritise my attention to writing and spend less time on the daily distractions and waffle. I want to to see writing as a creation in and of itself.

My resolution. From now on I will write a monthly piece which I will put on the News section of my website. I will also flag up these texts on the two social media platforms I currently use, Instagram and Twitter.

In these texts I will attempt to expand further on the written aspect of my art practice and write about the motivations behind work I am currently making. There is a backlog of notes and random thoughts that need to be corralled and put into some sort of order. But, hopefully this can become a joy rather than a burden. Writing must become what I want to do, not what I must do.

This piece might be rather an indulgent form of self-therapy. It also feels rather exposing, but it is the start of something, a marker in the ground from which I hope to grow tentacles of interwoven words that explore what it means to be me, an artist.