Why Writer’s Block is a Myth

Everybody’s heard of “writer’s block” even if you’re not a writer yourself. It’s been used by writers for years to explain why their last book took x amount of years to write instead of several months and it’s the usual reason behind every late manuscript, article, blog post etc etc. But, some writers will also tell you that it’s a myth. That writer’s block doesn’t really exist and that: “There are no blocked writers only lazy writers.”

They’ll tell you that -“writers write” and that even if you’re only getting down nonsense on a page, or writing about your day and how awful it’s been, that’s the only way you can keep calling yourself a writer.

Well, I’d have to disagree.

I spend probably 65 – 70% of my time staring off into the middle distance visualising scenes I’m going to write, might write or may never bother to write, in an attempt to really see my story as it happens. I believe Stephen King advises writers to do this so that they can write a scene with credibility. You have to see it first before you write it. But whilst I’m doing that I’m not actually writing. Only when I can see that scene as plain as if it happened right in front of my eyes do I put pen to paper or fingers on keys.

I know at least one other person who writes like this (a certain comic book writer) who said that most of his life has been spent staring at walls.

I see absolutely no point in churning out garbage for the sake of calling it writing when you could be dreaming up the plot of your next bestseller or setting the scene for the meeting of your star-crossed protagonists. And sometimes, in between all this there will be days when you can’t think of the words your hero wants to say, or see how the light falls on the brutally murdered corpse of your latest victim. That doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a writer.

Writer’s block isn’t a myth it’s your brain screaming “Hey I need a rest, OK?” So give yourself a break. You’re still a writer, not a lazy writer. Ideas and inspiration can’t be forced they come when they’re ready.

Writers write, but in between they think and they dream.

Nel Ashley is the author of Blackfeather – a Fallen Angel Paranormal Romance  and Immortal, the second book in the Blackfeather Series. She is currently working on her third novel, Persephone Reborn, a vampire romance influenced by Greek mythology.

You can also connect with Nel on Facebook and Twitter

 

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4 thoughts on “Why Writer’s Block is a Myth

  1. You are so right about spending time visualizing a scene. Sometimes I’m so intent on getting it down in words, I hate to stop to “see” it. Ultimately I end up rewriting those scenes because they don’t have the same impact as the ones I’ve taken the time to see.

    For me, writer’s block is when my mind is blank. Nothing to imagine, nothing to write. I’ve learned not to force it though. Maybe it will teach me patience 😉

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    • Hi Dawne,
      I tend to write frantically as soon as an idea hits too, but it’s only going back to visualise it properly that the details can be put in and the scene comes to life.

      Like

  2. Visualising and dreaming definitely are important, but I think they mean that once you sit down to write, you need to write whatever you have thought of throughout the day. Every writer needs to think, of course, otherwise there wouldn’t be a story.

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    • Hi, yes I see what you’re getting at, but it seemed to me that the person who said “there are no blocked writers only lazy writers” seemed to think that writers always had plenty of ideas, but just couldn’t be bothered to get them down on paper. It’s only by giving yourself time and space that those ideas materialise.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Like

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