Monday, January 05, 2009

Writers don't believe in writers' block

Or, to be more precise, as you'll see from our poll (right), of the 87 people who voted, 60% said they thought writers' block was just an excuse to procrastinate.

Of course, "Do you believe in writers' block?" is a very simplistic question. Who could really say that what Douglas Adam experienced (as mentioned by Gail Renard in the comments to the original post) wasn't genuine?

Perhaps many writers reject the idea of writers' block because they know how easy it would be to give in to. They prefer, like Anne Enright (writing in The Guardian on Saturday), to take a practical approach to ensuring that work gets done.
There is so much guff talked about creativity, and the more of this guff you talk, the more you are in danger of becoming blocked. "Block" is like a panic attack - the minute you describe it, you have it: the word and the experience are the same thing. It is the true and exact opposite of making fiction, where to name something is to conjure it into being, but in a positive way.

So I don't do "inspiration" or "blocks". I just do "work" and hope for the best.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:12 pm

    If I may contribute as a visual artist, not a writer, I would have to ask the question 'Why don't we have artists' block or composers' block?' It seems to me that writers' block is a cover up expression for someone who doesn't -maybe only temporarily-have anything to say.
    Ruby Lescott


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