Food for thought: is writer’s block a myth?

They say that all wildly talented writers have writer’s block (OK, so I made that up!)

But if it were true, I’d have talent beyond compare – 9 times out of 10.

Really though, while most of ‘the greats’ did suffer from writer’s block, I can’t help but wonder how many of them suffered the same way I do. More specifically, how many of them dealt with the combination of procrastination, laziness, lack of inspiration, and self-doubt that I interpret as writer’s block through the majority of my writing ‘process’.

I’m not sure how well writer’s block is defined, or if it’s one of those things that’s different for different people. You know, like a decaf. vs. a double-shot (mind you, I shall never understand people who do a ‘double shot decaf.’ – isn’t the whole idea of drinking your daily Joe that you start tripping off walls and the like?!)

Anyhow, I’ve often heard people describe writer’s block as not being able to get (the right) words from their heads to their screens, or papers à la quill, if you’re so inclined – no judgment intended. Maybe just a small, polite reminder that this is the 21st Century, and you should probably consider getting with the program. Just a suggestion though. Unless you’re one of those hipster sorts who insists on clacking away on a typewriter from the 1950s (that costs more than a netbook or the Beats headphones you have around your neck) in an otherwise peaceful café where Grandma types meet once a week for a relaxing cuppa which you have, and will, blatantly ruin for them with. I hope you can live with yourselves after that.

But I digress. Where was I?

Oh yes, writer’s block.

So you see, I think my problem isn’t so much that I have writer’s block, or verbal diarrhoea (as this post may make abundantly clear). It’s that writing in today’s world, apart from being competitive, is becoming less and less about content and more about how well you’re marketed, or how pretty your blog looks. (Which, for the record, is why I liked Svbtle** – I have the attention span of a child on a sugar high and if you through pretty graphics into the equation, we might never get a post out of me!)

That said, regardless of what the block is, in terms of specifics (although I have to say, I’m a little shocked with how few scientific research papers exist on the subject), I’m a firm believer.

Like the Darkness (they believed in a thing called love), or R. Kelly (believed he could fly), or Yolanda Adams (she believed in a lot of things!)

I’ve heard the counterargument that the myth that is writer’s block stems from the belief that writing is a sacred and magical process. And I have to say, if it’s not, chances are you’re either not doing it right, or you’re not enjoying it.

If you’re passionate about what you’re writing about, whether it’s about the new pet costumes you acquired for Snowy and Spike*, your grandma’s recipe for Lamingtons, or a story about sparkly vampires, you’re putting yourself on paper (in the case of the latter, anyway), and out into the world. And if that’s not something special or sacred, I don’t know what is.

See Exhibits ABC and D.

To people considering costume idea D – WHY? Do you not love your pet at all!

** More on why I chose to leave Svbtle later, though.

If you liked this post, drop me a comment, if you didn’t like it definitely drop me a comment, and if you really loved it, like it, share it, or tell your grandmother about it. 


Author: Akanksha Singh

Twenty-something travel addict || Likes: coffee, sarcasm, the Oxford comma, blue skies, and cobblestone roads. || Dislikes: rudeness, carrots, and pigeons (read: winged-rats with satanic eyes).

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