Words, Don’t Fail Me Now


Why am I stuck? I’m trying so hard (first clue) to put my feelings into words (second clue) for this momentous occasion (and…there’s the third). ThoughtBubble

What happens when you sit down to write something inside a book or card for a special event? A birthday, wedding, or anniversary? A letter to your newborn or college-bound child?

These things leave me utterly speechless, in a writing sort of way, and I wind up with an embarrassing outpouring of unintelligible sentences or an empty page.

When I’m forcing myself to write, I often can’t. Simple as that.

When I attempt to put deep, profound feelings on paper, I find the words aren’t meaningful enough.

The pressure of finding a sentiment that is perfect and unforgettable sends me running from my keyboard and diving under the covers.

Words are my world.

They can’t fail me when I need them most. This is the irrational thought I have before I beat myself up.

Why can’t I write this?!

Though I’ve basically answered my own question and outlined the reasons why, I still have a nagging feeling. And I think to the words, “Please. Don’t fail me now.”


I can't write - sig

This is what I have so far…


My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.


34 thoughts on “Words, Don’t Fail Me Now

  1. There’s the paradox – by writing about the elusive words, you found them! But I’m similar in sometimes stalling when writing under pressure – and I’m rubbish at writing workshops for those very reasons. And greetings cards! They seem to be crying out for clichés! Thanks. Very great post and a reminder that we don’t struggle with this alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s interesting, Sarah. I often find the same thing. I want to say something deep and meaningful and suited to the occasion, not something trite and corny; but that’s what I usually end up with. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with your first point – we try too hard. If we just say it as we think it is probably most true to ourselves. I’m sure I’d love anything you would write in a card! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Trite, corny, and cliche seem to be the way it goes with these things. It’s just that, as a writer, you’d think we could come up with something a little more… Unique? Stunning? Memorable? Yes, we definitely try too hard. I find eulogies especially difficult. I can’t think of a decent one I’ve written.
      Anything, huh? How about:
      “Norah, You are such a wonderful a great um lovely person and I am thrilled glad I met you. Sarah” 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aw gee, Sarah. And you are such a wonderful, great, lovely person that I am even more thrilled that I met you! 🙂
        I’m sorry to hear that you have had to write some eulogies. My turn hasn’t come yet. I have lost people close to me, but haven’t had to try to encapsulate their life in words. It would not be easy and I know I would always regret leaving out important things about them.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “When I attempt to put deep, profound feelings on paper, I find the words aren’t meaningful enough.”
    As soon as I place this strict a standard on myself, I know I’ve failed yet I keep doing it. Don’t we all? Love the honesty of this post.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m the worst greeting card-writer, I swear. Whenever a card gets passed around at work, I read everyone else’s responses and wish I could just copy them lol.

    I think sometimes when I try to be too insightful, I end up sounding worse than if I just let myself write free-flow. Less pressure, I suppose!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I cannot write in those things. Especially if it’s a card that’s being passed around and others have already written in it. That’s the worst!
      Agreed. I try to be too insightful, too…something, and it ends up a jumbled mess. I’m a fan of free-writing but can’t allow myself to do it when I have to write a special note or speech.


  5. In my experience, good writers are never satisfied with their words, especially when what they’re writing really matters. It’s usually the hacks who think what they’ve written is perfect the first time.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This made me laugh because I have the same problem! You’d think us writers would be able to snap out something witty and/or profound, but not this writer. 🙂 I always end up writing a bunch of nonsense and wish I used a pencil so I could erase it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are so many opportunities to feel inadequate as a writer, aren’t there? These special occasions pop up often (which is a good thing) and I’m at a loss for words. O_o (I use a pencil whenever I can get away with it.)


  7. That’s a start! Having to write copy under deadline still produces an initial freeze in me, but the closer I get to panic, the thaw happens and words tumble. I have no scientific or observational wisdom from it. Just wait until you’re cold with panic and it’ll happen. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I (usually) manage to meet deadlines even if it’s last-minute or I have developed writer’s block for some reason. It’s the sentimental writing for friends and family or some major event that gets me. I just…freeze. Nothing I write seems good enough for the person and/or occasion.


  8. I wonder why this is? I feel just the same way, never know what to say when it really counts, or so it seems. But I love what Charli said…’wait until you’re cold with panic and it’ll happen.’ I’ve found this to be so true so many times 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can completely relate. I’ve given up on cards. I just write the clichés to get it over with. I still try with wedding cards, but I just write less trite clichés.
    I’m with Charli when it comes to writing for work. The best results can be attained under pressure. Although it sometimes requires cursing or some jumping jacks. It’s amazing how difficulty with words can get one to start wanting to exercise.
    One of my solutions is Sudoku. I don’t know how or why it works, but it does. Something about using other parts of the brain or keeping yourself distracted while subconsciously solving problems. I’m sure there’s a fancy scientifically-sound explanation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha! 😀 That’s the spirit. Just give up and don’t bother with cards anymore. Or write something cliche.
      Yes, writing for work is different. I hate writing under pressure but I’ve done it and the results are a helluva lot better than a personal note written on the edge of panic.
      That is so cool! Sudoku. I love Sudoku and have never, not once, tried using that tool. Excellent. Thanks! (I used to color — not kidding — a lot and I wonder if that would work.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think coloring works too. I haven’t done it in a while, but I used to draw a lot when I couldn’t write. I think it was mostly just a way to keep busy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think it’s more relaxing than brain-stimulating. Oh well. I’ll try it anyway. I wish I could draw. I truly cannot. It’s bad. But I can color the heck out of a Hello Kitty coloring book. I’m awesome like that.


  10. Oh my god, YES!! I am a good writer. I have won contests, published short stories, and make enough money off my published work to buy starbucks every day of the week.

    I fail at cards, and sympathy cards are a part of my “real” job. Thanks for posting this. I’m so glad I’m not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You made me laugh. 😀 Sorry. But, yes, that’s it. You can be a fantastic writer, win awards and contests, be published, rich and famous, whatever then sit down to write a card and all bets are off. You are definitely not alone.


  11. Yup. totally hate it when that happens. I write my best cards when I’m not trying to – when my mind is just wandering and I get an idea. Sitting down to TRY to write them? Nope. No can do..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. I can NOT write cards when I’m trying.
      I’ll sit down and let my mind wander…maybe free write some things and see what happens. Maybe something magical! No, too much pressure.


  12. Pingback: Be Free… Write | Lemon Shark

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