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Blocked Writing

August 8, 2014

I had a professor who liked to say that there is no such thing as Writer’s block. They elaborated by stating that what we consider writer’s block is some combination of boredom, distraction, or a lack of actually trying. Essentially stating that writer’s block is an excuse. The first time I heard that, I will freely admit that I went from utter joy (believing that the secret to unleashing my creativity in written form was about to be discovered) to a little bit of annoyance (at the simple thought that they were telling me, and all the other students that we were sucking at the whole writing thing) to finally understanding what they meant (at least as far as I can tell.)

I can’t say I wholeheartedly agree with the fact that there is absolutely no such thing as being blocked when it comes to writing, but at the same time it is a little freeing to think that the whole writer’s block is just an excuse. If you are only using writer’s block like an excuse, then, in theory you can over come it, right? As an aspiring writer, who has fallen down the rabbit whole of being blocked I can say that (when not in the moment of sheer frustration because you can’t seem to come up with a single idea for this story) it makes sense. If I am not liking the way my writing is going, because I have either written myself into a corner or (as is more often than not the case for me) when I feel like my writing is utter crap and never going to get published anyway(despite the fact that it is only a first draft and in all actuality you don’t suck as badly as you think,) being able to have a reason for stopping writing can be mighty appealing.

I still say that I have writer’s block, in fact I did just the other day. I suppose in reality what I was trying to say is that I want an excuse for not actually blogging. That work and home had taken a lot of my time and the few hours I have in the evening not working was spent doing something other than thinking of things to blog about, or writing up posts. I wanted to be able to have some real and honest reason that I wasn’t living up to this goal I have for myself (of blogging twice a week.) If I can’t think of content then I can’t think of content and really should I be blamed for that?

What are your thoughts? Is Writer’s Block a real thing? Do you just see it as an excuse? Does your perspective change if you are in the midst of what you consider writer’s block, or after you seem to have broken through?

Let us know what you think in the comments. I look forward to hear from you.

From → Musings

8 Comments
  1. caityrosey permalink

    I write for a living and I have found that my writer’s block is never about the writing. It’s a symptom of mental/emotional constipation somewhere else…

  2. I have many times thought about writer’s block. The only conclusions I came to was that I had nothing to offer, and needed to find new inspiration to spark the creativity, and that my mind was so wound up and muddled that finding one particular thought path to go down, branched out so much I hadn’t finished rationalizing my thoughts on the subject. Then again my brain seems to match my projects, much more half finished than actually finished. My brain is full of w.i.p.s :)

  3. Reblogged this on and commented:
    I have many times thought about writer’s block. The only conclusions I came to was that I had nothing to offer, and needed to find new inspiration to spark the creativity, and that my mind was so wound up and muddled that finding one particular thought path to go down, branched out so much I hadn’t finished rationalizing my thoughts on the subject. Then again my brain seems to match my projects, much more half finished than actually finished. My brain is full of w.i.p.s :)

  4. slippedstitches permalink

    Writer’s block is real. It’s not just a lazy excuse. As a writer I get jammed up, road blocked, nothing moves. The only way through it is to write, even if that writing is not up to my internal editor’s liking. Write, write and write some more.

  5. To me writer’s block is a lack of ideas. Utter silence, no story. It either flows or it doesn’t – that’s not to say I never edit, or that it’s not difficult to finish a draft, but I don’t call that a block. I haven’t had much luck just sitting down to write stream of consciousness garbage until something happens, that just makes me exhausted.

    • Oh – and feeling like you “ought to” write is probably the worst motivation ever. If you have nothing to say, just be quiet? (generic you, not you-you in particular) I can’t remember who wrote something along the lines of “enjoy the silence, because the noise [of ideas in your head] will be back soon enough”

      • “Writer’s block is just a symptom of feeling like you have nothing to say, combined with the rather weird idea that you should feel the need to say something. Why? If you have something to say, then say it. If not, enjoy the silence while it lasts. The noise will return soon enough.”
        ― Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

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