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ENTRY

Blocking out the block
August 20, 2008

I've been writing seriously for, say, fifteen years. Oh, I'd been writing before that, maybe another fifteen years, but definitely not seriously. At least not what I consider serious writing now. But what's another story. What I'm discussing today is writer's block. After writing for so many years you'd think I'd know something about the topic. The problem is I'm not sure exactly what "writer's block" means.

Everyone has heard of the affliction, even non-writers. Mention writer's block and what comes to mind is a blank page in the typewriter, I mean a blank screen on the computer monitor, the writer sitting in front of it with an equally blank expression on her face. Okay, I get that ? the writer can't write, is stuck, something keeping her from putting words on paper, er, the screen.

What I have trouble with is understanding why the writer can't write. Is it because he doesn't know what he wants to write about? Or if she does know, does she not know how to get started? Is it because writing takes a tremendous cognitive effort and his brain is not in the mood for so much work? Or is she simply overwhelmed by the task? Maybe he's frozen by the probability of rejection?

Sure, I've experienced the pain of writing. The physical effort involved in sitting and creating and executing a vision can be draining. I've stared at a few blank or partially-filled screens, not sure what to do next. But I don't think I've ever experienced writer's block. At least not a long-term inability to write.

Let's face this fact - writing isn't easy. It ain't going to go smoothly. Road blocks litter the path. You've gotta climb over them, go around them. Figure out the root cause of the problem and deal with it however you can. Just don't let a temporary block become a long-term block. I'll talk about specifics in future posts.

#

COMMENTS

Number of comments: 3
click here to add a comment

Lee Witte
Never thought of it like this, makes sense, less daunting somehow.

Jo Reed
To break through the block (or whatever it is) I imagine this acquaintance, a writer, I know and dislike writing and publishing more than me. can't stand the thought I I get down to it.

Lee Witte
I like your method Jo. The boxer attitude.

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