Thursday, September 2, 2010

No It's Not Writer's Block, It's....

It seems I keep circling around this topic every time I think about what I want to say here. Writer's block is nothing new if you happen to be a writer by trade. It's been covered so many times in so many contexts that I really don't think it is worth the time to address anew here. Okay, you might be wondering why I'm writing this post then. I want to answer that by saying that I'm beginning to think differently about the whole concept of writer's block.

I've heard my share of those who believe writer's block and those who patently refuse to acknowledge it as a reality. I sort of exist in this middle ground where I acknowledge there is something happening. I myself have endured the disruptive experience where nothing is moving through my creative centers. I can't get one word to form on the page. I can't say with honesty that writer's block is a myth or an excuse - although it has been used as one. Other times, it may merely be matter of calling it a block when there is something else happening below the surface.

When I think about writer's block, most of the time the main thought takes the form of a question. "Am I sure this is writer's block?" Then the next question becomes, "What is it then?"

Other Options

There is reason to believe that there are other reasons you can't write. I want to at least mention them briefly so you might rethink how you explain problems with writing.

1. Maybe you haven't planned your writing enough. Now, this option doesn't fly far with those writers who disdain the idea of outlining, but I want to at least mention it. Still, it matters to many us who struggle with a piece writing simply because we didn't think to jot down some notes or outline the possible structure of an article or an essay. Do you see what I'm getting at? A little forethought can go a long way to keep you working when a bout of block would have been the result in the past.

2. Perhaps, you need a break. Now, this can be revolutionary for the workaholic writers among us. You may think that spilling words on the page a breakneck speed is the only way to work - that is until you trip over a monster-sized block. You may also be pushing yourself closer to a true burnout. Either way, the idea of stopping and taking a breather may do more good than you think. By taking time away from keyboard to spend time with friends or family, or may catch a movie or something, you may begin to recharge your creative batteries so you can come back ready to write .

3. Turn your attention to another project. It may really be as simple as shifting your focus from project that's got you gridlocked. If you have one article you're trying to draft, but have another that's already written, why not spend time editing that piece until you feel ready to write the other one. This is just one idea. Think about this one. Maybe you can come up with some ideas for yourself.

In Closing....

Obviously, there may be other reasons why you find yourself affected by writer's block of one type or another. I would suggest that the writers among my readers reconsider what's happening. Don't use block as an excuse not to do something. There may be better options that keep you productive. At least you can think about it. See you next time.

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