Monday, March 28, 2011

Around the Writer's Block

It's probably appropriate that I don't know what to write, given that our theme this week is the dreaded writer's block. I know I've seen this said before, though I don't remember the source--the only thing worse than writing is not writing. Truer words have never been spoken (by whoever I stole it from), and I think writer's block is particularly vexing because it hits the core of every writer's fear. What if you can't do it a second time? What if you can't do it a tenth time? What if you forget how to write? What if you're right and the world is on to you, and soon everybody will know you have no business writing at all? Where's the story you should tell?

Writers, being at times temperamental creatures, may be particularly prone to frustration, which doesn't help the situation. I'm also very good at avoiding things I find uncomfortable, frustrating, or maddening, and my procrastination skills are honed to a sharp edge. But I think that might be a requirement for authors. Either way, the longer you practice avoidance and the more non-writing work you do to fill your time, the worse the block will get.

I'm just emerging from my own bout of writer's block. I'd say I've been suffering for a month, but deep down inside, I know it's longer than that. Because writer's block isn't just about the inability to put words on paper. There's nothing stopping anybody from writing at any time, and "I have writer's block" is a weak excuse for not getting work done. Writer's block is a deeper sense of dread, a brush with an alternative life where you're no writer, and it's usually self-imposed. It's not something that happens to you, it's an obstacle you've built yourself, consciously or unconsciously.

We plan to have some good discussions about and suggestions for overcoming writer's block this week, and hopefully it'll be enough to get some people inspired.

No comments:

Post a Comment