Vs. Writer’s Block (It’s Not Real)

Posted: February 10, 2012 in Books
Tags: , , , , , ,

Here’s the deal. Everywhere I go people ask me the same question, “What are you doing here?” I should probably stop showing up at random homes unannounced.

Here’s another deal. People often ask me, “How do you write so prolifically?” Well, after I introduce myself and explain why I’m at their house, I tell them that it’s easy to write when you know that you have literally twos of adoring fans. As my dear Uncle Bobo used to tell me when I was just a tot, “Makya, if you can make just two people laugh, you’re successful.” Of course, years later we realized that my uncle had no idea what the word “successful” meant…he was also commonly confused by “corduroy,” “enamel,” and “marshmallow.” Sweet guy though.

But I guess my point is – writer’s block doesn’t exist.

Writer’s block is something that authors made up to allow themselves to avoid writing. If one wants to write, one can write. There’s no inspiration levee in our brains that can stop us. Writing is easy. (Writing well, that’s another issue)

Most people don’t want to do their work, but they don’t make up mental disorders to explain their apathy. You ever hear of plumber’s block? Or a lawyer asking for a recess because they’re suffering from attorney’s block? Or a football player claiming they can’t play their position because they have blocker’s block?

English: Marshmallows

Corduroy.

“I just don’t think I can unclog that drain, I haven’t been able to plumb for weeks, I’m just not feeling it.”

Sure, other things in your daily existence could distract you or keep you from writing. But that’s not writer’s block. That’s called life. “Writer’s block” is when you have the time, but you’re just staring at a blank screen, unable to type a word. Which doesn’t exist.

You can always type a word. You could, for example, type “corduroy,” “enamel,” or “marshmallow.” All perfectly good words. Writing fiction and don’t know what your character is going to do next? Here’s an easy solution – have them do something. Anything. Type some words. At the very least, you’ll make your character do something they wouldn’t…you can then use this knowledge to rewrite the scene.

Again, I’m certainly not claiming that everyone can write well. I’m just tired of artists claiming that they can only work when the muse graces them with her presence. As my Uncle Bobo used to say, “Writing is 4% inspiration and 98% perspiration.” He wasn’t great with numbers either. Sweet guy though.

People who claim to have writer’s block suffer from the delusion that writing is some divine gift. Writing is work. If it wasn’t work, we wouldn’t need second, third and fourth drafts. And, while I don’t employ them on this particular blog, writer’s need second, third and fourth drafts.

So, how am I going to do it?   How will I convince the scribes of the world that writer’s block doesn’t exist? I don’t know about this one…I’m having a really hard time coming up with anything…

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Comments
  1. Am I number 1 or number 2?

  2. aclundin says:

    So the second, third and fourth draft are what makes a writer? Guess I know what I’ve been doing wrong all this time!

  3. Lokyra Stone says:

    I am pretty sure you have three.

    Don’t recall who said it, but someone famous said you have to train your muse. You show up for work every day, and demand your muse do the same. They’ll whine and bitch for awhile, but eventually they’ll get used to having a regular job. They might even grow to like it.

    Writer’s block usually translates into “I can’t stop playing solitaire/World of Warcraft/watching tv/organizing my 5000 files.

    http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/397095_10150540125715723_584860722_9376767_495935911_n.jpg

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