Aha. The writer’s block…
The BIG bad wolf of everyone dealing with writing, be it screenplay, novella, novel, poem, article for a specific field, PhD thesis, internship report, memoir, fiction contest (250 words), plays….
Different prominent masters on the subject of writing have settled down their opinion and the clivage is very easy, as black and white, cold and hot, rain and sun…
For half of them, writer’s block is just a view of mind, namely a concept created by those suffering from it, and they erase the struggle to arrive to the idea that one can easily overcome that state of mind : just sit down and write. Discipline as the strongest fighter, and you, the writer, as the general in charge of organizing and winning the battle… not bad an idea.
The will to write seems to be just the perfect answer.
And, on the other hand, we are offered a more psychological explanation and an emotional meditative approach : writer’s block really exists. And you have to wait until it’s over, and deal with it gently.
You can try to fight it, put yourself at war against it, the best thing will always to let go of that ugly anxiety creeping in your mind that you are not able to produce a single meaningful and/or satisfying sentence. Then… leave it, turn to something else, refresh your mind, do something else, maybe write something else. Find help. Read books on the subjects. Or just do something that has absolutely nothing to do with the subject you are sweating on.
Like many fellow authors, I have experienced THE writer’s block. It is a dark corner where you do not want to be stuck after sun has set or dawned, because it will eat you rest away, make your night all white and your day crappy, burn down the self-confidence you have so patiently pieced together -from various positive comments and solid bricks that construct your path to become an acknowledged author- and that inner feeling in your guts that you must write, because you are born to do so.
As I urged myself on the mindset of sitting behind the white sheet, my fountain pen point resting still on the paper, making a larger stain of black ink, I thought there was no way I could draw a single line nor write more than a sentence.
It lasted for weeks. And it was utterly self deprecating.
First, I thought I should fight it. Again and again, and more, and stronger, and sit there day after day after day, slightly breathing as time escaped me coupled with the fact that I had not done any other thing than waiting for the dark veil to be carried away by my patience. But since I am not a person who likes to waste time and waits for the silence to murmur the words of the Muse’s inspiration, I embraced another conviction. I was willing to write, but not like it was an obligation, and I did not want to let it aside.
So I moved on and did other things and wrote other things. I watched movies and series, to nurture my mind, jog my ability to shell the screenplays of the films I was examining, and exercise the skills I had learned regarding screenwriting and writing.
I wrote poetry and a novella, instead of returning to the main task. But the core of my work remained untouched. In the same time, I stuck on a discipline, although not as harsh nor as iron-willed as advocated in some manuals.
In those moments, I came to think that no one is entitled to allow my writingself to be tucked in a box or another. Between the white idea of fighting like a warrior of the Writing Light and the black pool of letting the block eating one up untiI one would emerge pure and strong again, there is a infinity of greys. (Yeah very cliché, I know, but common sense and clichés are so often easily forgotten in favour of brighter new half-empty concepts, that sometimes one loses touch with what is obvious ..)
And one has to deal with their subtle nuances until one frees oneself from the block.
Writer’s blocks do exist, no need to pretend it is something one chooses to escape their duties, and that the will solely can break it down. It can be highly destructive, creativity-speaking . But writer’s block needs also to be fueled with fresh ideas and dealt with humourously.
Some white and some black, to create one’s very own shade of grey-ish writer’s block.
And being able to overcome it.
Best of luck to you, if you are stuck with that unpleasant companion. Take courage, the journey may be long, but there is always an end station…
Floreva, Writer’sblockfighter, too…
Pristine Padua said:
Sure thing. But what I do find irksome with working on paper is that you tend to think more carefully about what to write, not wanting to dirty it with erasures and all. But that’s just me. But yes, it is gratifying to write on paper when you’re inspired and very inclined to write.
True, so very true. Yet he organic relation withe the sheet and the ink is extremely pleasant. Tech vs. artistry, in a way…Thanks for your comments.
Pristine Padua said:
Yeah it does suck. A lot. Oh and I also find that writing on a computer helps counter the block more than writing on paper. Like, just keep writing sentences and phrases that don’t even matter to what you’re writing about. You can always delete them later.
Yes, sometimes rummaging randomly through the dictionary can help you finding connections and dislodging you from the block room you’re stuck into. And sometimes, it just does not work, and really, REALLY, it sucks being stuck in there. Glad it worked for you, though. As for me, various poetry works can help a great deal…
Pristine Padua said:
I couldn’t agree any more. There was this seminar-workshop I attended on campus journalism just last month and this speaker told us that writer’s block is simply not having anything to write about. They advised us to read, and if there’s nothing else to read, grab a dictionary and expand your vocabulary. It’s worked for me 🙂