Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Does Writers Block exist?

I'm open-minded on whether writers block is real.

At the moment I'm having one of those blank spells in my creativity which I get whenever everyday life gets very stressful or there are long spells with no calm to concentrate on writing- perhaps they are the same thing, but they seem different to me.

The blank spell = my creative side just locking up, as if it is on a timer.

I know that when I'm very ill trying to write is frustrating and often pointless. If I wait until I'm better then I won't need to scrap all I've done previously- or at least heavily rewrite it...

This month my life has been full of appointments and important phone calls which all take time and doesn't allow for any sustained  period of writing which I need - sadly I haven't yet succeeded in the task of writing (anything) for ten minutes as all I have is a blank page ten minutes later.

I do wonder sometimes if I should give up writing. But then I know I'd need to start again as there are too many characters waiting their turn or forming in my head, then snatches of speech that linger for someone yet to be written about.

That alone reassures me I shouldn't give up...

So my idea to help revive the creative side of my brain is market research, as that can be done in short bursts while waiting for appointments and travelling to and fro on the bus. Plus reading someone else's writing often sparks my own ideas.

Do you think writers block is real, or is it all in the mind?


Teresa Ashby said...

I don't think every writer suffers from it, but for those that do, it's very real.
Definitely don't give up :-)

Helen Baggott said...

Difficult question. I tend to have several projects on the go. If one stalls there's another waiting in the wings.

I think 'writers block' is just another name for 'take a rest, re-charge and come back inspired'.

Think of it that way and it turns a possibly negative thought into a positive one.

Carolb said...

Thanks Teresa, that's reassuring.

Helen you are probably right it is a sign to take a rest and recharge.
I have some free time in February so hopefully my brain will be ready to work by then.

Patsy said...

It is all in the head - but then that's where the stories are, so if a writer can't get them out onto the page they'll be in real trouble.

Anonymous said...

Don't give up, Carol. If you haven't got time for a long piece of writing then try something quick that doesn't need sustained concentration - like a reader's letter to a magazine or newspaper. Completing something like that and sending it off may give you a boost and get the creative juices flowing again (especially if it's published & you win a prize!)
Best wishes!

Carolb said...

Thank you for that suggestion Sally. It's been a long time since I tried a reader's letter- which is also good practice for concise writing.