Do You Believe?



Over the last few months, I was asked several times if I ever suffer with writer’s block. My answer is always the same: no! Usually, I only struggle to put words on paper if I am not focused or if other parts of life prevent me, or rather distract me, from doing the work. September is proving to be an exceptional writing month for me so far due to setting myself clear aims and targets. And best of all, I am enjoying myself.

Earlier this week, I listened to a video interview with an author who was posed the writer's block question. She said that in her opinion writer’s block is a complete myth and doesn’t exist. Her examples (the bits that made me smile) were perfect. She pointed out that other professions don’t have blocks. Dentists don’t get dentist block, lawyers don’t say, “Sorry Judge, I’m having a lawyer block moment,” and teachers don’t generally stand at the front of a class and say, “Sorry kids but I’ve got teacher’s block today” (even though, as a teacher myself, I wish I’d have thought of saying something like that somedays). So why does the writing profession seem to have the option of a block?

In a recent article I read, a university lecturer stated that the perfect solution for combatting writer’s block (if it exists) is bum-glue. I would suggest Velcro myself, saves all the mess. But he has a point.

What do you think? Are you a believer of writer’s block and if so how do you combat it?

Comments

  1. I have mixed feelings on this, but I think some problems can have a negative effect on creativity and concentration and will therefore feel like a block. I can't write if I'm worried or anxious whereas in the past, I used to find I could escape into writing no matter what.
    But I'd add as well as bum glue, it would be a good idea to stay offline :-) xx

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    1. I agree totally, Teresa. The WWW has a lot to answer for :) Thank you so much for commenting. It's always lovely to 'see' you.

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  2. Great post, Nicola! I'm not a believer in it (except maybe fro Teresa's reasons) as I just go on to a different type of writing if the words are not flowing, or I go and do something else until they do!

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. I do the same as you, when I start to invent vocabulary and write complete gobbledeegoo. A change of scenery soon puts things to 'write' :) But, this month is going well. I think its the Autumn weather setting in. Less distraction and a burst of motivation from somewhere :) Have a great week.

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  3. Great post. I have not yet suffered from writers block, but I do think that there are times that my creativity would be inhibited and while I may be able to write it would not be my best or most inspired work.

    All people have days when they cannot perform optimally and the work suffers.

    I agree with Teresa that the distractions, especially the internet, are the biggest issue, which we have total control over, that takes us astray.

    Congratulations on having such a productive September!

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    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, Kat. I hope it continues into October. I agree with you that we all have our bad days when life throws us curve balls. We can't always work to our best. That's what makes us human. Precious little souls we are and I wouldn't have it any other way. Have a fabulous week and thanks for popping by. Lovely to 'see' you here.

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  4. I don't believe in writers' block but I do know there is Can't Write, Won't write. There are days when the writing is not good - can't write. And there are won't write days when I can't be bothered or something else turns up and, at the time, it sounds preferable to writing. But, as Keith Waterhouse once said, 'The best part about writing is having written.' (Or something like that.)

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    1. I've had the 'won't write' feeling as well as the 'don't want to go to work' feeling. The latter far more frequently. That's why I took the plunge :) I like the Keith Waterhouse quote, Have a lovely rest of the week, Lynne and thank you for sharing.

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  5. I don't believe in it. I might struggle to come up with ideas, but once I start writing, I never get stumped. (I also outline to death. That probably helps.)

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    1. It's when I don't outline or plan when the pace slows to a halt. So I have been planning of late and so far it is working. Thanks for popping by, Alex.

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  6. An interesting post, Nicola. I don' t really know what writer's block is, whether it means a writer doesn't feel like writing at that particular time, or whether it means they are stuck on a particularly difficult scene. Presumably it could be either.

    I always feel like writing and if I am ever a bit stuck, I just think about the characters until I am unstuck. Therefore, no, I have never encountered any sort of block. If it happened to me, I would probably switch to a different piece of writing. xxx

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    1. Apparently, writer's block was termed by psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler in 1947. To be honest, there is probably a term for everything if we can be bothered to look :)

      I'm so happy that you always feel like writing, Joanna. Keep going. So many of us love to read your work.

      Have a lovely rest of the week and thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts. It is always lovely to 'see' you.

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  7. I'm easily distracted and some days I just don't feel like writing, but I've never suffered from writer's block.

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  8. Nicola,
    I'm with you. I don't really "believe" in Writer's Block. Sometimes I don't feel like writing or sometimes I think my writing is crap because I'm forcing it out, but I've found that my feelings have absolutely no correlation to the quality of writing because it's only ever afterward that I know if it's an good. The only mistake I can make is to not try and ... yeah ... that I do believe in. :) But I agree, it's always a choice.
    Thanks for reminding me of that! Because sometimes I "just don't feel like it" and don't. Or I make excuses and don't.
    Thanks!
    Anne

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    1. Maybe that's it, Anne.Some of us will admit that on some days we just don't feel like writing and others call it writer's block. Thank you so much for coming by to comment.

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  9. I don't have writer's block. I'm either exhausted from real life stuff or I didn't outline well enough (since I'm a plotter). If I ever get tired of a project, I switch to another since I usually work on 2 or 3 things around the same time.

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    1. Thanks for popping by to comment Medeia. I think the key is to switch writing tasks if one isn't progressing the way it should be. Wishing you continued success with your YA novels!

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  10. I write one story a week and have had times when I've looked at the blank screen and convinced myself there are no more themes, characters and plots to create... is that writer's block? Whatever it is, a couple of days off usually does the trick.

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    1. My best ideas suddenly pop up when least expected and I'm usually in the garden pulling weeds when it happens. Luckily the weeds never stop sprouting so I should be good for years :) Lovely to see you, Wendy. Thank you for commenting.

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  11. I tend to think of "writer's block" as losing steam -- something I dealt with when I was more of a pantser. I'd start out on a roll, amped on adrenaline, until I got lost. Since I've become more of a (casual) plotter, I don't write myself into corners anymore. I know the major plot points, and I can connect the dots more easily, regardless of my steam allotment for any given day.

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    1. Thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts, Milo.

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  12. Hi, I am your newest follower. I loved your article, especially the part about the lawyer standing before the judge and saying, "Sorry Judge, I’m having a lawyer block moment." I will have to try that sometime. I agree with what you've said and I don't really get writer's block. I'm never stuck without words, my problem is similar to yours. I struggle to get words onto paper. I am easily distracted and I find it hard to get any writing done when I have so many other things going on. I'm always waiting for the perfect time to write when I can have five or six hours of uninterrupted writing time. Problem is ... I seldom, if ever get that kind of uninterrupted time. I wish you would share you writing plan with us since you are having such a good month. I'd love to know how you did it. Congrats on getting so much accomplished this month.

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    1. Welcome Melissa. So glad you found me. Really great to 'see' you. Time is often the enemy and I've struggled with it over the years. Thanks for the great idea for my next blog post! Have a great week.

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  13. I think "writer's blog" is your subconscious telling you you're taking the story in the wrong direction. One solution is to just write something different or have the characters do something absolutely ridiculous.

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    1. I think we have all taken the story in the wrong direction and dry up or run out of steam. Similar to what Milo experienced in his earlier days. I liken it to driving - there's a much better chance of reaching the desired destination wihtout hold ups if the route is planned and takes into account roadworks and road closures. Thank you for popping over to comment Donna. Have a lovely week.

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  14. Very cool blog man love what you’re doing so far will def follow you and comment every day. I was hoping you could do the same for me.

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  15. I did have writer's block one time in about ten years. We had just moved to Texas and I was depressed about leaving my home etc behind. I found I had nothing to put on paper. It last about two months but that was it. Then I wrote again!

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    1. I hope you are enjoying Texas now, Terri. I know how you must have felt. Starting afresh in a new state, or even a new country can be extremely daunting. I remember when I moved to Germany. It took me years to settle! Hope you have a great week.

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