Writer’s Block

I don’t do writer’s block. No one ever refuses to serve you at a supermarket till with the words, ‘Sorry, can’t do it. I’ve got checkout person’s block.’

David Hewson

I read this today and began thinking about writers block. There are mixed thoughts about it’s reality. Plus an unending number of ‘cures’ for it. Hewson, in his blog post, doesn’t believe in it, just that writers dry up because the path they have chosen to write went awry a few hundred word previous. The drying comes from writers trying to write themselves out of it and hoping to pick up the thread by just putting words on the page. What they really need to do is address what went wrong earlier and find a new direction for the story.

I have experienced this drying up and I suppose it’s easy to put a label on it and call it something, like writer’s block, as an excuse not to write on or find a solution. I have been guilty of this. Getting stuck on one story doesn’t mean you can’t write something else, but putting a label on it can do. Doing so gives you permission to give up, like having flu so you don’t have to go to work. Calling it a name means you have some sort of illness that only afflicts writers and nobody else.

There are many reasons for drying up or writer’s block but when it happens you can call it what you like but don’t use it as an excuse to stop. When you are sitting looking at a blank page, desperate for a beginning to the story that’s fast fading from you thoughts. Start in the middle, or write down the ending but write, write, write something and it will pass. Unblock writer’s block.

“Don’t waste time waiting for inspiration. Begin, and inspiration will find you.”
H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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