I don’t believe in writer’s block. I just don’t believe such a thing exists.That’s not to suggest that I don’t think writers experience difficulties with certain assignments. Some assignments are definitely harder than others. But a real writer will always be able to put pen to paper…or in our case, fingers to keyboard, and produce something.
Writer’s block is an excuse. It’s an excuse not to write. Actually, I think it’s an excuse used by those who would rather call themselves a writer than actually be a writer. A fine line, I know, but writers recognize the difference…and I bet you do, too.
I do find it easy to accept the idea of a writer’s stumbling block. By that I mean that writers can sometimes come up against an idea or topic that just proves difficult to expound upon initially. For a wide variety of reasons, writers can find themselves faced with a topic or subject that is just difficult to write about. I’ve been there and know that it can happen. I’ve even found that sometimes I’d really like to write about something, but just can’t think of exactly how I want to say it. Words, after all, must be chosen with great care. I am one who believes the pen is mightier than the sword (the computer is mightier than the M-16?). Not only that, words can stick around for a long time, so we have to choose them carefully whether we speak them or write them.
The image of writer’s block is of a writer staring at a blank page. The suggestion is that the writer can think of nothing to put down on that page. A real writer will not dwell long on an empty page. If he finds himself staring at a page for a long time, he’ll simply close the file and move on to his next idea.Because of that, it’s not unusual for writers to have multiple projects going. In the olden days it was scraps of paper, notepads, manilla folders and the like. Today it is files and partial files in computer folders.
I have a single writing folder on my computer. In that folder I have other folders: novels, short stories, comics, and editorial. I also have assorted files I’ve started that I haven’t decided what to do with–mostly, they are just ideas.
This column started there as just the first few lines. Later, I added a few other lines and moved it to a different folder.
So, the next time you hear a “writer” whining about writer’s block, laugh, then tell them to write about something else.