Friday, April 15, 2016

Writers Block? (Part II)

I've made several posts here and on my Facebook author's page about writer's block. 

I think it's difficult to define writer's block. You ask 10 writers about the condition and you're likely to get 10 explanations (and probably more). Some say they've lost their muse. Others lament losing focus. Some blame the use of stimulants and depressants for their woes. Still others think it might be physical fatigue. And perhaps some use it as an excuse for not writing.

Mental Health Daily offers quite a few causes for the condition. 

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the simple definition of writer's block is "the problem of not being able to think of something to write about or not being able to finish writing a story, poem, etc." 

And the medical definition, according to Merriam-Webster, is "a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece."

I like what Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison has to say about writer's block:

Toni Morrison
"I tell my students there is such a thing as 'writer's block,' and they should respect it. You shouldn't write through it. It's blocked because it ought to be blocked, because you haven't got it right now."

From my own personal experience, that's something I understand from writing everything from novels to news stories to press releases. In other words, the reason something is being blocked is because it doesn't work. Writers needs to go back and rethink, rework, and rewrite what they're trying to write until they get it right.

I'm encountering this kind of "writer's block" in my current work in progress. It's not easy but whoever said writing was easy.

How do you deal with writer's block?

Until the next time....


  1. I've solved the problem of writer's block entirely. I'm taking a whole year off writing, and in that time hope to put together enough ideas so that when I start again I'll have the whole thing written in my head. Of course I know it won't work out that way.

  2. Funny, Roger. At my age, I know I wouldn't remember much if I tried to do that. I'll just keep plodding along until I reach the finish line. As much as anything, I want to unclutter my head so I can concentrate on the writing. Is that what you're trying to do? I hope all goes well.

  3. I'm taking time off so that I can learn to paint properly. I know the style of book covers for each writer are all supposed to be similar, and that's the problem. Mine are all rubbish.

    1. I was very pleased with a book designer for my "Laments" book. If you're interested, I can give you her website, etc.