Can We Talk about Writer’s Block?
I read the best quote today about writer’s block…and the thing is that when I share my thoughts on writer’s block as it pertains to those who want to be or hold themselves out as a professional writer, I get a lot of flack.
Part of the reason I get flack is because it makes people feel guilty. They know deep down it relates to them. Otherwise, they wouldn’t get their panties in a twist. If it doesn’t affect you, you wouldn’t have a response.
“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.” – Terry Pratchett
That’s something that I try to explain to people who talk about how they want to become a professional writer. If you decide to “live the dream” of being a professional writer, you must treat it like a business. Let me ask you a few questions:
- Do accountants (professionals) get accountant’s block? No. And they do MATH all day.
- Do teachers get teacher’s block? No. Although they may not relish teaching to a test…
- Where would we be if Shakespeare had writer’s block? There’s a theme in his work – he just fucking kills everyone off since he’s writing fiction. Nothing like a tragedy to get the creative juices flowing!
When you’re a professional writer, you do NOT have writer’s block. What you have is the inability to admit that you’ve gone about your work the wrong way. You don’t want to start over…so you feign a problem: i.e. writer’s block. Same with fiction writers. You don’t have writer’s block or a problem with your “muse.” You don’t like where your story landed and that’s why you can’t move forward…and you don’t want to write what logically should happen and you don’t want to start over, either.
What can I say? Writing is a bitch. It’s hard work. It requires the ability to objectively assess what is going on and determine if it will meet your goal. Otherwise, fucking start over.
And, if you’re offended by my opinion on writer’s block: