Sunday 24 April 2022

Writer's Block (It's not what you think it is...)

 If you go online and peruse the numerous writers’ groups on social media and the like, there is one topic that is likely to crop up more than anything else: the dreaded writer’s block. There will normally be at least one member of a forum or group bewailing the fact that they are suffering from the affliction and that they cannot drag even the slightest word or description out of their brain. 

So, without wanting to sound over harsh here, I want to say categorically that I feel writer’s block is something which we tend to inflict upon ourselves. It could very well be completely subconscious, but I do feel that there can be a tendency amongst the writing community to feel that at some point in your life you have to have suffered from The Block. It’s as if it is a rite of passage that all future great writers have to endure on their path to fame and fortune.

The thing that I find most oxymoronic about the whole thing is that writers who go onto social media to write that they have writer's block are doing the very thing that they say they cannot, at that moment in time, do — they are writing. Sure, it may just be to bewail their current condition, but isn’t ninety per cent of writing that anyway? The greatest works out there are the writer commenting on their own state of life or those around them.

I was once told, many years ago, by an author who led a local writing circle, that writer’s block does not exist. He felt that if we could not write something about a particular topic, then we were simply writing about the wrong thing. I wholeheartedly agree with this. All too often, those trying to break into the writing business start off trying to write something that they feel will get them published rather than something about which they are knowledgable or which they enjoy. This leads to them hitting a wall when things just dry up or they get bored. Writing is an art form; art is expressive. If the writer wants to pursue this art then they need to write about that which burns within themselves. If they do this they will never run out of material to explore and enjoy.

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