There’s No Such Thing As Writer’s Block

by sandra on July 16, 2017

{Day Four of my committed, 30-Day Writing Spree}

“Writer’s Block” is a fallacy. It’s a made-up hiding place for writers who simply are not writing. Until I started studying with Jack Grapes, poet/author, creator and teacher of  Method Writing, in Los Angeles several years back, I had not been writing for a long time. But I never, ever said that I had writer’s block. I just wasn’t writing.

Even if you love it, as I do, writing is hard work. There are a lot of people out there who “like” writing but they only like writing first drafts – you know, throwing their ideas down on paper and thinking that they’ve created a masterpiece.

But  the mastery of writing lies  in the editing, the re-writing, the sculpting of the piece into finality. You’ll notice that I didn’t say “perfection”, because a true writer can go into a piece that is essentially finished and always find a way to re-work some element of the piece.

One of the hardest aspects of writing is knowing when to walk away – when to put your baby on the kindergarten bus, give it a kiss on the cheek, then wipe away a tear or two, because you don’t how it’s all going to turn out.

But I digress. I was talking about “Writer’s Block”.  As I’ve already stated, writing is hard work. You’re either doing it or you’re not. Once I started writing again, I didn’t self-flagellate over not having written for so long. I simply concluded that, over all that time I wasn’t writing, I was preparing for the day when I would write again. And that has proven to be true.

Writing is also a profession, if you choose for it to be. Let’s have a look at some other professions: physician, auto technician, teacher, lawyer, landscaper, accountant, etc etc etc.  How would it be if you were to drive up, frantic, to have your steaming, spitting radiator repaired and your auto mechanic said, “Yeah, I don’t know…..I’m just not feeling it today. I’ve got mechanic’s block. You know how it is. I think the guy down the street’s still feelin’ it, though. Why don’t you check with him?”

Or, you show up at your dentist’s with a throbbing, absessed tooth and she says, “Kid, you’ve come at a bad time. You see, I’ve got dentist’s block today, and, to tell you the truth, I’ve had it for the past year.  I don’t know when I’ll be through it. Sorry.”

As Jack Grapes taught us: Writer’s Block is for amateurs. It’s amateurs that wait for the “inspiration” to write. Professionals, or dedicated writers, put their asses down and get started. With Method Writing, we were taught so many original process tools that all one had to do was pick a tool and get started. That tool would soon enough lead you down the yellow brick road to product.

So, if you call yourself a writer and you’re not writing, don’t call it “writer’s block”. ‘Cause writer’s block is bullshit and I ain’t buying it.  “Writer’s Block” is an arrogant hiding place for not telling the truth, which is, simply: You’re not writing. You don’t feel like writing. You don’t like how hard writing can be. You lack the discipline to write. Or – how about this: You just don’t want to do it.

But don’t call your lack of writing “writer’s block”. You’ll feel a lot better about yourself if you just tell the truth.

And that truth could lead you to dropping your ass down and getting back to work.

Because it’s oftentimes the resistance that ‘s the greatest obstacle.



One comment

Folks on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you lock yourself in room at midnight and cast the bones and come out the next morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit at your computer and you write, and you write, and write some more, and that’s all there is to it..

by Deke D. Wagner on July 17, 2017 at 12:13 am. Reply #

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