Pffft! Personally, I don’t believe there’s any such thing.
Where do we, as writers, get off with such a lame excuse for not writing? What the heck’s that all about?
Yes, I agree we go through dry spells. Is that any different to dry spells for other activities?
Of course not.
So many times I’ve seen these words: Oh, I’ve been suffering the most terrible writers block.
Suffering? Writers block is not an affliction, for goodness sake! Being a writer and not writing is not an illness!
Are we all so conformed that we have to find a tidy box into which we can slot this? What happened?
Did one writer suddenly declare: “I’m not in the mood for writing today. I’d like to, but my mind doesn’t seem to be translating my story to the page properly.”
Along comes another writer: “I know exactly what you mean. I’ve not been able to write a word for days—for weeks. Your ailment must be catching. What is this undesirable spreading illness?”
Did the doctors have hoards of visits from writers and, in a need to placate just to get all these crazies out of their surgeries, decide to come up with: “Yes, I know exactly what’s wrong with you. You’re suffering the most terrible case of writers’ block.”?
In that case, over the span of my adult years, I’ve had so many illnesses without even realising it:
School runners’ block
Grocery shoppers’ block
A real job workers’ block
And those are only a few. I’m lucky to still be alive, man!
I could just imagine my husband’s response, if I answered his request for a sandwich during his lunch break from work with: Sorry, babe. No can do. I’ve have a horrid case of wives’ block since I woke up this morning.
Writers’ block surely does not exist. SURELY, it’s just a case of your mind not being in the mood to perform what you want/need it to.
With no car at the moment, and without saddlebags permanently attached to my hips, I have no choice but to grocery shop every day of the week. About 4 days out of 5, I’m SO not in the mood to go (one day is enough). Does that stop me? Of course not! We wouldn’t eat if I didn’t go shopping.
But look at housework as an example. About 7 days out of 7, I don’t feel like doing housework. Is there a need to force myself to do it? No. I can get away with it for a while, and the housework will still be there waiting to be addressed once I get my ‘back in the game’ head on.
Surely writing is no different to any other task you don’t feel like doing on certain days of the week?
Food shopping (you can’t get away with not doing it, even if that’s your frame of mind) has to be done. Or we’ll starve.
So, if you’re writing out of necessity (to earn a living), then suck it up and get on with it. It’s just like any other job. Some/most days you may not be in the mood, but you still drag your sorry ass into action because you depend on it.
If you’re not writing out of necessity (unless it’s an addiction, which it so easily becomes to so many of us), then step away for as long as it takes to recharge your batteries. Because, a lot of the time, that’s all writers’ block is: a need to regenerate those brain cells and allow the creative juices to rediscover their flow.
That is all: my rant of the day. 🙂