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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Writer's Block

For some writers and those who teach writing, writer's block is nothing more than a myth. Why? Because someone could write about any subject just to stimulate the writing process. So, if I am working on my second novel (which I am) and have trouble getting started, I could write about my difficulty getting started. Or I could write about the weather, or my mood, or my wish that the Pittsburgh Pirates might have a winning season sometime again during the remainder of my lifetime. None of those topics necessarily help my second book, but they keep my fingers on the keys.

Unfortunately, I do believe in writer's block. I don't see it as a myth. I don't see staring down the blank page as a noble feat (blank pages intimidate me, some days). Sure, writing is putting your behind in the chair every day, but, hey, there are word goals and page goals, and....

Yes, I have had writer's block so large and looming it was more like writer's town or writer's city. How frustrating is that? Plenty. But that is part of the process, too, and just because there is no typing going on it doesn't mean that I'm not problem solving in my head or sorting through a thorny structural or plot issue.

The moral appears to be, be patient.

Verbally yours....

1 comment:

Thomas said...

In football, a timely and well executed block will impede the pursuit of a charging linebacker or generate a gaping hole for a speedy running back. Opportunity for forward progress is created. Perhaps the writer's block is protective in a sense by preventing redundancy, monotony, and impeding the intrusion of stale ideas. Teasing out the location of the block - character(s), plot, theme, setting - may be helpful. I also think that confronting the block takes courage - courage to acknowledge that the story may need to take a different (perhaps radically different) direction. Ultimately, I think the block signals opportunity. Agree - patience ultimately supports all "thinking out of the block" strategies.

-TAq