I don’t believe in writer’s block.
I know, it’s a confession writers aren’t supposed to make, akin to standing up in church and announcing that I don’t believe in the Devil.
So I’ll add a caveat: Maybe writer’s block exists for fiction writers, who have to make up plot, characters and everything else they put to paper. If I had to create a tale from a completely blank slate, it’s quite possible that I’d stare into space and see a wall forming, brick after brick of, well, nothing.
But as a nonfiction storyteller, I’ve never found myself at a loss for what to write. The pieces are all there, waiting to be put together. And if they’re not, if there’s a void, I always have at least a vague idea of what information I should gather to fill it.
Sometimes it takes work to figure out exactly how to write something, where to begin or which pieces to leave out. And sure, there are days when I just don’t feel like writing and have to force myself to do it. But in my experience, that’s not writer’s block — it’s writer’s laziness.
Am I the only one who thinks writer’s block is a myth? Not according to some of these responses from writers when I twittered about the topic:
- I find, magically, that newspaper deadlines cure writer’s block. When you gotta write, you do. (@blytheterrell)
- I talked myself out of believing in writer’s block. Part of me still really does, but I refuse to acknowledge that part. (@Elle_Parker)
- If you journal (or write morning pages) every day, writers block doesn’t happen. Habit primes the pump. (@blogbooktours)
- I love writers who say they can’t afford writer’s block! Bills to pay, groceries to buy — can’t succumb to blockages. (@QuipsAndTips)
- My old boss said writer’s block does not exist. Boredom and hangovers do. (@justwriter)
You know who I’d like to hear from? Writers who suffer from writer’s block, who believe in some variation. Please stand and profess your faith!
Do you believe in writer’s block?