Is Writer's Block Real?
In this article I'll take a look a look at how real writer's block is, as well as offer up a writer's block cure.
We’ve all heard the phrase “writers block” and we all know what writer's block definition is.
Put simply, it means that we can’t write.
We want to write, but no words or even ideas are flowing.
Our muse is absent. She’s flown out of our window to hide from us, the cheeky minx (you can tell I don’t have writers block LOL).
But is writer's block real?
I remember when I was a young, romantic, idealist, sentimentalist novelist who used to bemoan the fact that writers block had thrust me with a sword and felled me.
My pragmatic friend who worked as a builder would say, “you artists are all the same. Writers block? What a load of nonsense.”
I knew it wasn’t nonsense. I was literally in the grip of writers block, like Tolstoy after he’d completed Anna Karenina and then couldn’t string together two verses.
You know it isn’t nonsense, too. After all, you’ve been there.
As I’ve got older, though (not like insane old), I’ve started to question the truth of things.
And one of the things that I’d previously come to accept as gospel which I’m now questioning is writers block.
Is writer's block real, then? Or is it just a hoax?
Are we just being poetic, sensitive saps when we say we have writers block, when in reality we’re just ignoring the fact that we’re a bit tired?
Or maybe we’re just using a fancy turn of phrase to disguise the fact that we’re actually lazy and can’t be bothered to write something.
Or maybe, just maybe, we’ve lost our zeal. We were one hit wonders who produced a bit of magic a few years back but that day is never coming back. It’s gone forever, and we should stop butting our head against the wall in a bid to coax it back.
Writer’s Block is a poorly chosen phrase. Indeed, writer's block definition is a loaded phrase. Phonetically, it sounds as a heavy as a boulder. It doesn’t exactly roll off your tongue. It’s a big, bulging-sounding word.
Secondly, Block means to prevent something.
When a footballer blocks a shot, he puts his whole body in the way.
When the police block traffic, they use a blockade in the form of a road block.
When we’re blocked on social media, the suggestion is that we’ve done something pretty bad to someone.
Block suggests to prevent something with a pretty big object, or to even use force.
It’s not a nice word.
In fact, it’s horrible!
If you say that you’ve got writer's block, you’re saying that you’re being blocked from writing. You literally can’t write because a force bigger than yourself is stopping you.
I think it’s important to admit that sometimes we’re not in the mood to write.
Saying that we have writers block automatically puts us on the back foot. It tells our brain that we’ve been blockaded. It tells our brain that something is seriously up here. We’re not just having a bad day, we’re actually sick.
And when this happens, our brain stops trying to help us write. It gives up the ghost.
As humans (and especially as writers) we tend to be dramatic. We’re not a bit miffed that our favourite contestant was voted off American Idol, we’re depressed.
When we say we have writers block, and when we ask is writers block real, there is a tendency to sound a bit high and mighty.
After all, writer's block is exclusive to us writers.
“You wouldn’t understand what I’m going through because you’re not a writer,” we say to a friend while downing more pills and rubbing our temples.
And when we say we have writers block, we dramatise something that could actually be easily remedied.
Writers block is a bit of a romantic myth. It’s a nice but dramatic (come on, we’re writers, of course we’re going to dramatise the fact that we’re just a bit tired) way of saying that we’re shorn of ideas or just not in the mood.
Or maybe we’ve lost our golden touch.
Or maybe you subconsciously don’t want to admit you actually don’t want to write. You’d rather be idling.
By saying you have writers block, you’re letting the devil in. You’re using the wrong language and making the situation worse.
So, is writer's block real?
Well, let me break it down:
You don’t have writers block.
You’re NOT blocked from writing.
Try to find out the real reason why you’re struggling at the moment. Maybe you’re tired, or maybe you just need to plan more.
So is writer's block real?
Maybe. But stop being all dramatic. Your mates will thank you for it.
How's that for a writer's block cure?!
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