23 March 2013

Respect the Block

Recently, I have reached a new respect for people suffering from writer’s block. In fact, I created a new description for myself because of it:

Staring at the wall with a pen in my hand and nowhere to write

This could be seen in a few different ways.

First, the idea is there, but the person has no way to record the idea. I’ve come across this problem when driving to my bill paying job. Some great concept will jump into my thoughts past the radio, the idiot drivers, and other issues. My cell phone doesn’t have a voice record function and I can’t type on that tiny keyboard while trying to guide a behemoth along the roads. I could get a recorder, but the funds just aren’t there, yet. Worse, someone cuts me off and the idea disappears as I throw curses against the glass.

Yeah, so not a good thing.

Another way to see this is the image that there is something between the writer and the proper writing surface. Sure, one could write directly on the wall. But that isn’t where the writer WANTS to place the words. Perhaps because the wall surface is not flat enough for the pen. Or perhaps because the ink from the pen won’t show on the wall. No matter what the reason, the wall just won’t work. In this case, the wall becomes a metaphor for something in your life that disturbs your writing. A broken routine, a medical emergency of your own or that of your family, anything that blocks you from reaching the writing surface. For me, a series of family medical emergencies have created havoc in my writing time, in my routine.

Still not a good thing.

The final way to see this image is that fear has frozen the writer in place, so they couldn’t write no matter what they tried. This style block is the hardest to break because it comes from something inside that must be repaired before one can advance.  I can honestly say that fear of failure catches my hand on many occasions.

Finding your way past the wall for many of these examples becomes finding what prevents the writing from happening. Getting a recorder, a pad of paper, something to jot notes at any time fixes the first one. The second can recover by redoing the schedule to include writing time and sticking to it.

The last example is hardest to find a way to fix because it differs for every writer. For some, it is the fear of rejection, or failure, or completion. Yes, fear of completion has been known to stop some writers from writing, because they don’t know if they’ll have anything else to write once the project is complete.

My best advice for fixing a block is seek what causes it. The root of the wall will bring it down faster than trying to take it apart brick by brick.


Today's post was inspired by the topic “Writer’s Block” as part of the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com/. This ongoing tour allows you, the reader, travel around the world from author's blog to author's blog.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s posting over at: http://suesantore.com/

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com

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