The Myth of Writer’s Block

72l_nlax1zq-flash-bros

I spent years falling into the black, bottomless abyss of of Writer's Block. I hit the wall time and time again, blaming it on an endless string of excuses, all of which ended with "Oh, woe, woe is me. Please feel sorry for me, I have been struck down with Writer's Block."

I picture some ogre stalking me, finally creeping up behind me as I sit at my desk and swinging a chunk of wood at my head. A satisfying "Thwack" reverberates through the room as the Writer's Block connects with the back of my skull, rendering me digitally speechless.

Crap. Garbage. Myth. It is a lie we tell ourselves when things get difficult.

Writing is not easy. It is not a walk in the woods while bluebirds chirp and rainbows form over our heads. It is not as is words flow from our fingers in an endless stream with no little to no effort on our part. It is work. And sometimes work gets hard.

I used to stop writing and walk away when I would hit a bump in the road. If the story, or essay, or poem, or whatever took a turn that led to a dead end I would give up and dump the file into an Unfinished or In Progress folder and move on. Most of those things would never be finished.

That means, if I couldn't write something from start to finish with no real effort, I would not write. Imagine how much stuff would never be published if that was the end of the line for everything written.

Then, I discovered something by accident. I finally landed a paying writing gig with a real deadline. Not a poem or essay to be entered in a contest, but a real, honest to God job with a real editor and deadline.

My first real writing job. This meant one thing — do or die. I produce, or I destroy my first opportunity to succeed in the writing world.

The effect was unexpected. When I hit a wall and thought I couldn't finish I began to panic at first. Realizing I had no choice but to complete the assignment I simply took a break, went for a walk, and came back to take another look.

When I treated it for what it was, a job, and I approached it as actual work instead of a hobby, I tried different approaches and edits until I found one that clicked which set me off on course once again.

There is no writer's block. There is only difficulty and difficulty takes work to overcome. But it can be overcome, as I've found in every case since that day. I've learned to push back, and to keep trying until the path reemerges and your direction is clear again.

I also learned that starting over is not something to fear. On a recent assignment I found that, after 800 words of a 1200 word piece, I hated what I had written. It was soft, campy, and unprofessional. So, I set it aside and started over.

I still had the theme in mind, but instead of beating my head against the wall by rearranging sentences, phrases, and paragraphs until I killed the whole thing, I actually saved the time by killing the whole thing and writing new sentences, phrases, and paragraphs.

I finished the entire assignment in one sitting because I had the foundation and knew where I wanted to go, but instead of hacking my way across a field to get to the other fork in the road I simply went back to the intersection and turned left instead of right.

This past year has been an incredible learning experience with results that reached far past my expectations, but only by learning and treating the craft of writing as a job was I able to succeed with any single step.

Stop blaming writer's block and get to work. Step back, regroup, and try again. Restart if necessary, or re-phrase, rewrite, and revise until the way forward becomes clear again. Do NOT give up and walk away from your work, get it done.

It's that simple, get it done. I didn't say it was easy, because it isn't. But it is simple. Writing is a job.

https://theascent.pub/the-myth-of-writers-block-a7005711e838

Stop chasing the perfect idea
My Story Broke Up With Me — and I Couldn’t Be Happ...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Saturday, 21 July 2018
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Writer Biography

World class writer whom travel the 365 days on a yacht. ...

Writers

เอโนค อเณชา วางมงกุฎ
0 post
เอโนค อเณชา วางมงกุฎ has not set their biography yet
Girolamo Rombolà
0 post
Girolamo Rombolà has not set their biography yet
Olivér Basa
0 post
Olivér Basa has not set their biography yet
Bodo Lamprecht
0 post
Bodo Lamprecht has not set their biography yet
Jerome Ricketts
0 post
Jerome Ricketts has not set their biography yet

Popular Articles

Someone once told me to write about what I know, so here's this:I'm good at not fitting in. I do it all the time. But humans need to belong, so I do these things to make people think I'm a normal huma...
We've been together for years. While I'd written other novels before during the high-pressured flurry of NaNoWriMo, I had never studied writing craft so deeply and applied it so faithfully to my own w...
I spent years falling into the black, bottomless abyss of of Writer's Block. I hit the wall time and time again, blaming it on an endless string of excuses, all of which ended with "Oh, woe, woe is me...
These days everybody knows about the ampersand. It's one of typography's most unique and interesting characters.Its rise to hipster fame has catapulted the ampersand from the sketchbooks of type desig...
This is a short manifesto for makers and creators, whether it's events, programmes, startups, books, poems, art, etc.We all get stuck in a rut. Maybe you have writers' block, or can't seem to crack th...

Albums

No photos available
No photos available
No photos available
No photos available
No photos available