Is Writer’s Block a Myth or Painful Reality? Curious Minds Want to Know
The way we talk about writing may be causing an artificial block
So, lately, I started doubting writer’s block exists. And while many writers have discussed their experiences with writer’s block, I’m not entirely convinced it’s a real thing. The term “writer’s block” implies that the writer is willing, but they can’t think of anything to write for some reason. While I don’t always have time to write, I would argue that I’ve never experienced writer’s block. When I have time, I can brainstorm and write, but when I can’t, then I don’t. But, either way, I don’t remember feeling blocked.
When inspired, words seem to flow effortlessly, like water falling from a tall cliff. But when stymied, each word can feel labor-intensive, like rolling a stone up a hill.
If writer’s block is a myth, then editors and fellow writers need to know, so they can use different terms to discuss the challenges we experience. For instance, instead of saying “I had writer’s block,” a writer could say “I didn’t feel like writing” or “I didn’t have time to write.” At this point, you may be saying, “But, I stared at the screen for hours and couldn’t think of anything. What do you call that?” It may be self-doubt, lack of faith in a concept, too much second-guessing yourself. But is there really something preventing words from pouring out? Only you know for sure.
By accepting writers’ block as real, many writers have likely lost out on ideas that they could have bubbled up to the surface under the right conditions — poems, novellas, essays, and books the world will never read. You probably can’t tell because of how often I publish, but I often wake up not knowing what to write. But, I have faith in my ability to find something I perceive as interesting. Because of our diverse backgrounds and experiences, the ideas seem limitless. Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她) usually shares some prompts that inspire writers who feel a little stuck.
One night, I wanted to write but couldn’t commit to a topic. So, given my interests in history, race, and politics, I…