Lately I’ve read a couple of articles, some pro- and some con-writer’s block, both of which have led me to consider the “myth” that is writer’s block.
Writers as a whole are an interesting group. Writers are allowed to be weird, unpredictable, rude, and generally different. There are few other professions where you can say you’re not inspired to complete your job today and not report to work. Perhaps only in the arts…
That’s the anti-writer’s block comment: writer’s have created an excuse to avoid work. But there’s the continuing belief (or should I say “legend?”) that writer’s block is a real thing, and I tend to think there always will be this myth.
Because writers must be so self-motivated, usually working outside of a 9 to 5 job, they never truly have to report to work. Sure, they may have deadlines mounting, but you are essentially running your own business–if you aren’t self-motivated to get the work done despite all distractions, you won’t have a paycheck.
According to Wikipedia, Writer’s block is defined as this:
a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years. Throughout history, writer’s block has been a documented problem.
So where does a writer’s belief in writer’s block fit in? How can writers justify a type of block that prevents them from doing what writers do: write?
I think there is a perfectionist tendency in artistic, creative people. We each have our ideal creation in our mind, and rarely does our finished product seem to fulfill the initial surge of creativity. Especially with novel writers and creators of longer pieces of art, it is easy to lose to the vision we first had for the piece, or to become distracted by another work, or simply to lose our passion for the piece by the end.
Is this writer’s block? Those days when we sit down to work on our novel and cannot muster the passion or the words to put to paper?
I’m not entirely convinced it is. After all, the only cure for writer’s block is to write.
Whether or not the words are perfect, or even ideal, writing is the only way they will ever enter the world. There is no solution to writer’s block. It’s essentially apathy for a writer’s job. Every person feels apathy for their job on some days. There will, eventually, be a day where you don’t want to work. But it’s the people who continue to go to work on the uninspired and uninspiring days that eventually become what they envisioned they would.
A writer writes. It’s that simple.
Don’t let writer’s block convince you that you’ve lost your passion, or even that you’re not a real writer. Just sit down and write–especially if it’s not perfect.