I can’t figure out why I’m having so much trouble writing.  In my head I keep blaming it on my job, as I try to write between calls.  The anticipation of the next call to come.  The actual ringing that frightens me a little when I’m concentrating.  Indeed, I was startled after the first two words of writing this because of the phone ringing.  I keep blaming the job, but I can feel it in my skin that there is something else.  
There is something in the back of my mind that feels like it’s preventing me from thinking properly.  It’s similar to the helpful little creatures from my book that are trapped inside Derek’s mind, but instead of helping, they are yanking my thoughts down into the back of my head, holding them so tightly as to never be released.  
I have a theory that this not-so-helpful creature is a combination of my stresses, responsibilities, and self doubt.  When I first started writing in a physical journal, the first sentence I wrote was ‘I have a fear of writing’.  I think this has never stopped being the case.  The only reason I was able to write an entire book in one month was because I had all of those stresses, responsibilities, and doubts stripped away from me during National Novel Writing Month.  I was unemployed.  I was living with my mother who provided for me.  I thought of the concept of writing a book in one month as ridiculous and the fact that so many people did it every year meant that I had to at least try too.  The pressure that it had to be a good book was removed when all I had to think about was the word count.  There has to be a way to get back into that head space.  
I look at writers like Neil Gaiman and Steven Moffat who keep giving advice like ‘Just keep writing.  Write until it hurts.  Write until you’ve run out of ideas, then write some more.  Once you’ve written your thousandth script you’ll finally have all the boring ideas out of the way and be able to give something of value.  Put in your ten thousand hours.’  This advice is both inspiring and terrifying.  It gives me hope that I’m not just wasting my time and that skill will come with practice.  On the other hand, it greatly intimidates me, knowing that I’ve got all that work ahead of me.  Although, the fact that I can see that means that I can attempt to avoid it.
I have come up with some theories on how I might solve these personal mental blocks.  Firstly, I must make a temple.  I’m not talking about actually constructing a building, just find a centralized location that is devoted to creativity.  If I’m unable to find such solitude, I would keep something around to place on the table, so that when I look at it, it reminds me of what my thoughts should be devoted to.  
Secondly, I have given myself a daily word count requirement of five hundred words.  I know it’s small, but I have to start somewhere.  The primary purpose of the goal is two-fold; to maintain that I am practicing writing and to give myself the sense of daily accomplishment that National Novel Writing Month gave me.  This article has allowed me to reach my goal for the day. 
Thirdly, I have been having trouble thinking of plot points when I’m just staring at empty bullet points.  Writing this article has helped me realize that I think best when it is just stream-of-thought.  I wrote this entire thing that way and I’m going to start doing this to come up with character details, magical restrictions, and plot twists.  Once I’ve written it all out I’ll read it back and pull out what I think to be useful.
I’m really hoping these ideas work out for me…