Writers’ Block: Concrete or Myth?

There was a story about a writer who couldn’t write.  Who knows how the story got passed down because it wasn’t written down.  Because the writer couldn’t write.

But, like those oral tales from the beginning of time when people would snort or grunt so came the idea of writers’ block.

I’m here to snort it isn’t true.

Does a stockbrocker get money block?  No.  They look for a way for the money to flow.  Does a plumber get plumber’s block?  No.  Plumbers are there to clean out the pipes.  And you are there to clean out your psych.  So let the words flow!  Clean out your pipes.

If you care to build brick by brick a block for yourself then it IS true.

But when you have to write, you just do it.

Can you speaK?  I think so.  Then you can write.  Well, that isn’t quite right.  If you can think words, then you can write.  That’s a better description.

When I first started writing it was hard to give myself permission.  I constantly questioned myself. I thought, am I doing this right? 

And just who the hell is going to give me permission?  So I read articles about writers’ block.  Of course, it seems like a million years ago so maybe it was all etched in stone tablets.

Don’t wait for permission.  Just do it.

Right now I have a million things to do.  To write.  Because I’m a writer.  And photograph.  Because I’m photographer.

I don’t have the time to worry about it.  I have to stay focused in the NOW and do it.  Sorry if I sound like the proverbial Nike commercial, but it’s true.

We build the existential angst up in our mind because we think things must be perfect in order for us to create.  There is no perfect time when the angels will sing and whisper to you in that oh so angelic way that your time has come.

Alright, sometimes they will.  Sometimes your muse will come to you and you will burn through pages like there is no tomorrow.  But usually?  No.  It won’t happen.  Sometimes you will come to the page and hate it.  You will dislike the fact that you write for a living and you will want to do something else.  Anything else.  Like pull beets in Siberia.  Alright, this isn’t quite right.  Usually our fantasies taken on a more exalted hue.  Like sailing the Caribbean in a 50 foot sailboat and cooking exquisite gourmet dishes that include ingredients like saffron and indigo.  Indigo is an ink!

Usually if you cannot bear to write it’s because of a few things:

You feel too self conscious.

You are comparing yourself to other people who you feel are better writers.

So do this in the age of numbers and quick fixes:

1. Fuhgettaboutit.  Get over yourself already!

2. You be the judge of yourself.  Don’t let anyone else be.  Get on with it.

Just do it.

But if you really want to read more about the block, please visit Graham Strong’s hilarious diagnosis and treatment of this existential disease that is bound to plague writers at one time or another.  Go ahead, innoculate yourself.

Photocredit: © Ellen Wilson

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