Writer’s Block: Overview
There are some who say “Writer’s Block does not exist,” and to those people I say, “Ugh, as if.”
Writer’s Block very much exists; it is simply misunderstood. It is not a lack of new ideas or inspiration. Instead, Writer’s Block is a direct result of negative emotions that interfere with the ability to create.
Writer’s Block is a mind game.
Remember when you were a kid and you were terrified of the monsters under your bed? It didn’t matter that your parents said there were no such thing as monsters. The only thing that mattered was that you perceived them to be real, and thus let your fear overwhelm you.
That’s what Writer’s Block is like. Just as the darkness clouded your perception of your bedroom, fear clouds your ability to take an idea and run with it.
If you are suffering from Writer’s Block, do not fret. Healing comes with understanding.
- Sudden, overwhelming fear that everything great has already been written
- Feelings of worthlessness brought on by a day (or two, or three…) of not writing (or not writing well)
- Obsession with the “delete” key
- The inability to distinguish whether your anger should be directed at the screen/sheet of paper, or at yourself
- Contempt for words (often this is coupled with an actual obsession with words that haunts you until you find the right ones)
- Revisiting that idea you saved on a spare napkin, scrap of paper, iPhone Note etc. and dismissing it as futile
- The feeling that you walk the tight rope of a love-hate relationship with writing
- The feeling that you are living a paradox: you were born to write, and yet, you cannot write
- A cold feeling of worthlessness in your stomach when you read your own writing
- Sudden paralysis of the fingers when you sit down to type
- Reading works by famous authors and thinking, “I will never be as good as them.”
- Reading works by amateur writers and thinking, “I will never be as good as them.”
To fully understand the causes of Writer’s Block, one must understand the concept of two basic emotions: fear and love. The underlying cause of Writer’s Block is FEAR, and yet that fear takes many forms.
If left untreated, a person suffering from Writer’s Block may eventually become certifiably insane or depressed. In severe cases, the sufferer may completely forego the chance to share quality writing and unique ideas with the world. The latter situation has serious implications for humanity as a whole due to a lack of crucial wisdom provided by gifted creative minds. (Warning: do not share this information with those suffering from Writer’s Block; it will place more pressure on the sufferer and will thus worsen the condition.)
The only way to treat Writer’s Block is to destroy inhibitions. Throughout history, many great writers commonly used the following substances to accomplish such a feat:
- Lysergic acid diethylamide (NOT RECOMMENDED)
Warning: If you prefer to use a substance to temporarily alleviate Writer’s Block, be aware that you may develop an addiction. Foreign substances should not be relied upon. A person who suffers from chronic Writer’s Block is encouraged to find a long-term cure. Long-term treatment options include, but are not limited to:
- Extensive soul-searching
- Reassurance of talent
- Collaboration with another writer
- Repairing your ego
- Constantly surrounding yourself with people and things that awaken your imagination and obliterate your self-doubt
- Viewing art, listening to music, watching plays/movies, reading other people’s
- writing, or reading your own writing to ignite creative flow
- Dedication to write despite crippling Writer’s Block symptoms
Write when you feel stupid. Write when you think your idea is cliché. Write when you are embarrassed to place the words on paper. Write on despite the grammar and punctuation errors. JUST WRITE. WRITE. WRITE.
Many of those who have suffered from Writer’s Block go on to live normal, healthy lives. Often, they wind up enjoying a fruitful career or rewarding hobby in writing. It should be noted that Writer’s Block sufferers have a tendency to relapse every once in awhile. In these cases it is best to find a healthy treatment and ride out the storm, for there will be light at the end of the tunnel once again.