Writer’s Block – Real or Not?

“I don’t wish to talk of writer’s block. It is very depressing,” said a published writer when I asked if she could share her experience for my blogpost. Clearly, she was uncomfortable and my article now lacks a case story. Nevertheless!

When we talk of dead ends in writing, we use the term – Writer’s Block. Those periods when we struggle with the pen or keyboard, when words deny and put our patience to trial, is a writer’s block. Writer’s block is also called as Blank Page Syndrome. Call it what you may, but many believe it is just a myth; just like many writers who believe muse is a myth.

As many writers, as many episodes of writer’s block, all etched through history. The most successful writers have had their bouts of the writer’s fix when they thought it was the end of them, their art, that their passion had died. When I dived in a debate with a friend and colleague who also is a writer, up came to the surface some interesting views.

This writer who believes there is no such thing as a writer’s block stood firm upon her notion that it is mere lack of talent that leads one to believe that they have a writer’s block. She went on to say that a writer’s block, is particularly procrastination. If writers keep delaying their work to an extent from where there’s no come back, what is it really then if not procrastination?

I may or may not agree with her, after all, it’s her personal views. But I do believe that there are such stretches of time when you strive to scribe. And it has nothing to do with motivation. Or perhaps, may be a little to do with motivation. But that motivation takes you nowhere. It feels as though the pool inside you dried out and you are scraping the bottom to no fruition.

To be honest, it was when I started blogging that I suffered from writer’s block. I did not know then that such a term existed. All I did was sulk as I was constantly belittled by my own thoughts. I started to feel I was not good enough, and yes although now I affirm that it does not really matter, but let me tell you this, it does affect a lot when you are a beginner. I gave up the idea of blogging and for 3 years, I had my back to blog.

Is that what is writer’s block? I still don’t know. And does it matter what name it’s got?

The fact remains – we do suffer from periods where our imagination goes point blank. But that’s possible for the best of the writers out there. Three of my favorite authors have had blank writing phases and they did battle it out. Without which Harry Potter would never have a 4th book and rest of the series, War and Peace wouldn’t be the best and the longest novel in Russian Literature, and 2006 would be the end of King’s reign over horror realm.

So, dear reader, tell me, what do you think? Is writer’s block a myth? Have you had an encounter with it? Do share your experiences.

~~~~~

Asha Seth

P.S.: Since we had a talk on writer’s block tonight, in my next article, I shall share some of the things that helped me in caging up that monster called writer’s block.

 

69 thoughts on “Writer’s Block – Real or Not?

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  1. I wouldn’t say it’s a myth, but it’s also not the huge dead-end some people make it out to be.

    I’ve realized that I can overcome writer’s block by writing out potential scenes. I write scene after scene ~ all crappy, forced, and barely in tune with the plot. Sounds like a waste of time, only it isn’t.

    Because then, like finding a bright flower in the mud, a scene finally pops in my head that makes sense. Or, as much sense as it makes to me as a beginner writer.

    So, blocks happen. Uninspired writing happens. But it can always be worked through by writing 🙂

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  2. It is real. Irrespective of whether I have felt it or not, the best of the best have (Roald Dahl’s interview comes to mind, for example). I (and many others in my field) experience a different kind of writer’s block, but that’s for another day!

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  3. I believe it. When I lived at the farm in Winston I was able to write all the time. I couldn’t stop writing. I wrote some of the awesome pieces I’ve ever written, but when I moved to my apartment in Winston I couldn’t write anything. I had a complete writer’s blog. I tried everything. I was also going through a really bad bout with depression and I found certain songs that helped me to keep going and I was finally able to write. It was awful. Since I’ve moved back to Asheboro I’ve had any problems with writing. I can write all the time. A lot of my problem is self-confidence. I don’t think my writing is any good, but then again I’ve posted my writings and got feedback that it was good so. But I still struggle with that. It’s a daily process and learning and growing experience for me.

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  4. Well, I’ve experienced writer’s block and I’ve been scared that it was probably a lack of talent like your friend pointed out. I still have doubts about my writing but I simply keep doing it. I’ve written a post on this too…” when a reader makes a writer write” .Looking forward to reading your next post where you speak about tackling it.

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    1. We, writers, are always harsh upon ourselves, and at the slightest challenge we tend to blame our poor selves. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have it in us. We only need to face the tough day and move on. What do you say?
      The article on tackling the block will be up tonight. So, if you want to catch up!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You know, I know the feeling of writer’s block, but I don’t think there should ever be a point where someone throws their hands up and says “I simply cannot write a single word, I have writer’s block.” As my English prof this past semester told me, if you get stuck, lower your standards and keep going! There’s nothing writing with writing a crappy first draft – there’s a whole revision process ahead to go back and tinker. Sitting down to write is all about getting words on the page and getting your thoughts going!

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  6. Writer’s block is a very interesting phenomenon… I think, in any field where creativity and human imagination is involved, there comes a time when an individual faces such times…

    I am in app development and there are days, even we feel similar things… Of course, we call it by a different name, but the fundamentals remain the same…

    In fact, when I was in high school, I started writing a Harry Potter fanfiction… It was pretty long one, approx. 15-16 chapters, written during a period of 1 year… But, one fine day, I sat down and didn’t have anything come to my mind….

    One day turned to one week and so on… And, that’s the end of my story writing days…

    In fact, I have recently started blogging and just wrote a similar article as yours… Anyways, sorry for going off-tangent but this post was a great read.

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  7. It’s an interesting perspective on the issue of writers’ block with writers putting their ideas. I believe that there is a scare within on how the story is fleshing and also an important point on the need to free the mind, experiment as if it’s our own life…be a free bird.

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  8. I feel I have written myself towards dead ends sometimes but I try not to be discouraged. Right now I am stumped on a story and how I want to introduce the final character and so on… so I have been into writing poetry to keep the creative juices flowing. I think it’s all a matter of your own belief. Who really cares if someone believes it or not? It happens right? Just my thoughts. Great post, really made me think about it, as I never really thought too much into it before.

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    1. It takes a lot of courage to keep hanging in there, and I guess, we are often too hasty to stop and give it a thought. You do well, though. What’s this story about? And I too feel that indulging in poetry opens up new avenues of imagination. Thank you for stopping by and adding your valuable thoughts. It’s all about what you think and believe as you rightly said.

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  9. “Writer’s block” is a fancy term that people have caught up on. Some might not like, some still continue to use. But it is always about not being able to write. Some term it procrastination or some syndrome, but at the end the page still empty, the ink in the pen drying or the cursor on the screen blinking at the start of the page.

    So, it is a reality. Because I fancy myself to be in one for quite some time now. I haven’t written anything in months and it is close to being a complete year soon. We all are writers, mediocre scribllers to published authors. And we have this common thing called writing. And even though we sometimes feel like we are not cut out for this writing thing, we still write, senseless as it might be, but we still write because we have a passion for writing. But then again, calling it a lack of talent feels like a punch on the face. One can and should try to motivate, writer or otherwise. We will get back to writing, some way or the other and that too with own little talent.

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    1. Not being able to write is a phase we all come across. Hell, even Shakespeare had a bout of it with Othello. I am sure the term did not exist then. The idea is to keep jotting, yes. And I am sure that one person’s opinion surely does not mean that for all of us. But with such thoughts, one definitely does sink deeper in self-pity and regret.

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  10. I was just gone for 3 months. I wouldn’t say it was strictly writer’s block, as I did write privately, but at the time I just felt uninspired, and like I needed a break. Since returning I feel like I’ve been so much more enthusiastic to read everyone else’s posts, and also feel I’ve written some of my better poetry. During the time I also wrote 2 parts of my little 4-part short-story series, and since returning have finished it. Procrastination reflects a lack of prioritizing and laziness where I think writer’s block reflects a need for some reflection, or new things, or new experiences until there’s the urge to need to pour our consciousnesses out again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do that too. Take a break from routine and try and do more of what get’s the wheel rolling for me. Like I said before, so happy to see you back, Pharaoh, and to read your enthusiastic responses. So motivating.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I believe in it. And I believe it’s a lack of inspiration, rather than a lack of motivation.
    You can’t procrastinate ideas flowing and sometimes, where you used to look for inspiration no longer works.
    I see writer’s block more of a dry spell rather than a form of laziness.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for following me!!! I personally don’t believe in writer’s block although I do know that being bored can happen sometimes. It has happened to me and I try to solve it by doing somethi different like changing the background of my writing program, listen to a totally different kind of music/soundtrack and other things.

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    1. We need to find ways to get out the phase and do whatever it takes to be back writing. Motivation is one thing and inspiration totally different. While we can wait to be motivated, inspiration comes only when we try. Thanks, Petoilin. I am sure your tips will help the readers.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. One of the most interesting articles I’ve readon the subject of writer’s block. Although not a writer (a proper one at least) I do believe it is a real situation. It also happen to readers and I believe it is present in any form of creativity.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. My whole life revolves around a writer’s block, and that’s saying something.
    My advice to this is just know what will happen in the story a little after, and stop yourself from writing it, when you feel the most to write it. And the next day you’ll be sooooooo compelled to write it because you want to.
    Funny enough, my remedy is to stop yourself from writing to face the writer’s block. 😂😂😂

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  15. I’m not a particularly organised writer, i write on the fly i don’t so much have writers block but i do sometimes write myself in to corners that I then have to escape from, funnily enough it often helps the finished item, that extra bit of concentration.,

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  16. Writers block for me definitely is the laziness to write. I think I have been lucky enough to write whenever I have wanted to. It’s just the thought of putting an effort sometimes in a write up that pulls me down. But yes, definitely I have faced the writers block sometimes when I wanted to write, had the thoughts but it was difficult to pen it down. That’s when I turn up to my guitar, it helps sometimes.
    About a muse, I feel he/she/it is a reality. You create a mental image of something and then you pen down.
    I think we can never run out of imagination. It’s our greatest gift. 🙂

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    1. The essence of your thought makes more sense to me, Harsh. The desperation to be perfect drives you to an edge sometimes and you lose all focus. Imagination sure is a gift and it’s like a well that never runs dry.

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    1. Laziness definitely seems to be a primary cause for writer’s block since most readers have pointed it out. I truly feel sometimes you just feel there’re no words, no thoughts, inside of you to polish or flesh out. Do you think it makes sense, Mani?

      Liked by 1 person

“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” ― James A. Michener

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