For Love of Words

Posted: Sunday, November 19, 2006 by Travis Cody in

It really sucks to be mired in cement. That's what this case of writer's block feels like. It feels like my brain is full of cement.

See, I have this novel called Outlawed. I started it 15 years ago. It has a bunch of characters and an intricate plot. And it's just sitting somewhere in my brain. I can't find it anymore. I look at pages of old notes, and charts, and maps, and ideas - nothing looks right. Nothing seems like it fits. I'm stuck. The story is stuck. Everything is frozen.

Where's the damn story? I know how it ends. I know what happens to almost every character. But I can't find the words anymore.

That's painful. Words are life. But the words have disappeared.

I've tried all the exercises. I've tried to write backwards from the end. I've tried to massage small scenes and write from the middle. I've tried outlines. It's just so frustrating.

The words used to flow. Whole chapters used to write themselves. Not anymore.

So, I'm left with things I've written in the past to remind me that I really can do it. I've written before - possibly it will happen again. Because I'm in love with words.


As I think, so shall I become, evolved
in perception as much as in deed,
Wandering far afield on rational plains, yielding
effortlessly to the subtlety of vision.

Unhampered by solidity does the mind itself proclaim
a knowledge unseen. . .vistas upon horizons,
Distorted normality in a world gone missing
from itself; consciousness devoid of reason or sense.

Stimulated as by intellect, makers of a new rhetoric;
to strive in the unattainable glory of articulate rhyme;
Lofty eloquence grandly spoken to replace substance,
clarity foregone in vehement poesy.

Passionate speakers they, grandiose and bombastic,
blanketing nonsense in ornately turned phrase.
Pompous and foolish, but succeeding to best the fools,
almighty speech broker, bargaining his dose of Roget's.

The poet no less the offender, archly wrings meaning
from none via assorted rhythmic fancy.
Intonation his rule, pure diction on the page;
metaphoric euphoria in an overture of language.

Such as these do equate life's purpose to a word,
beautifully set in print with its fellows in
Happy pursuit of indelible verse; ticketed as prized
work by souls lost in pursuit of less.

For want of a simple fashioning of words to encase
a meaning clear and untainted by fanciful muse
Do some seek a widening of the gates, marrying mind to
vision, blending a thought with its true word.

Deeded in time to each thing comes real meaning,
uncluttered by pieces of man's rude intellect.
Brilliant insight stands apace, waiting for a simple thing;
thought, once accepted, keys knowledge.

Unfettered light then unleashed upon us all, and with
its luminescence the need to embellish is lost.
Speak what is meant and what is conveyed will be known
to all, understood for its own, for love of words.

Maybe that's my problem - being in love with words.


  1. julie says:

    It will come back, promise. When you're not looking it will stare you in the face and scream, "Where the F*** have YOU been?" And then you'll become reacquainted like long lost friends. Trust me.


  1. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful poem, Trav! You are truly a good writer. Don't let this temporary writer's block or, as I like to call it, word block, get you down. It's only temporary. The words will come and the story along with them. Hugs!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes snogging will help...

    :snog snog snog:

  1. Travis says:

    Julie: OK, I'm trusting you. Is there a time frame for this return?

    Meri: Thanks for the encouragement. **tosses the puppy a scooby snack**

    Dana: Snogs darlin!

  1. Anonymous says:

    It'll come'll finish it and it will be spectacular!

    Uncle Travis and the Story Factory!
    Yup.. she was right you know...

    Just keep writing whatever comes..and things will fall into place.


  1. Anonymous says:

    When all else fails....


  1. Anonymous says:


    I have the same problem, too many words and not enough structure. I can't find the right context to put them in.

    You really can write y'know.

  1. Travis says:

    Ann: I appreciate the encouragement as always.

    Dix: Damm that duck!! Whoa - that did feel good.

    Andrea: Awwww - thanks darlin!

  1. Travis,

    You are such a gifted writer, my dear friend, and I know that the words will flow once again. I understand the struggle to have your thoughts match your desire to express them, and I hope that you will, once again, find your written voice. It is truly there, I have seen it spark. The characters of Outlawed will be heard, and their inspired story of fantasy and charisma is already such a joy.

    Inspiration can come from anywhere, so watch, listen, learn. Let the little things in life guide you on this hard journey, just maybe, one will lead to the path the breaks you free.

    Your friend in life and writing,