Writers… writers… writers block?
November 22, 2011 • Morgan Westover, Feature Editor
Filed under Opinion
It’s sneaky and unpredictable. It catches you at your most vulnerable moments, and can drive the weakest minds mad. It’s an atrocity taking over today’s most creative youth, with absolutely no signs of going away. No, it is not Manbearpig, nor is it syphilis. This universal demon goes by the name of ‘writers block’ – a writer’s worst (and sometimes only) friend. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, let me draw you a picture.
In 1947, a homophobic, narcissistic psychoanalyst (he lead the research for “gay conversion”) by the name of Edmund Bergler coined the phrase, ‘writer’s block’; he called it “a temporary condition where an author loses the ability to create new work”. He had it all wrong. Writer’s block is comparable to a drunken, vehicular collision. Or better yet, the scene in the 2005 sorry-attempt-at-a-horror-movie-remake, “House of Wax”, when Paris Hilton gets a stake thrown through the center of her forehead – except, for instance, it was someone we all cared about.
Sounds pretty gruesome, eh? But that’s exactly how writer’s block works. You think you’re going somewhere – that you might really be onto something – but it’s actually a hoax, and you run face first into a brick wall.
Now, you may be wondering what the symptoms of the terrible pestilence may be – or how to avoid this creative comatose altogether. While it is inevitable at least once in your creative life, measures exist to take to make your experience with WB a little less…hellish.
As it turns out, as I attempt to write this article, nothing seems adequate enough to express my thoughts – which is, ironically, the book definition of writers block. So, stick with me as I try to provide you with an informative and humorous piece of work. Phew.
There is also euphoric writing, in which a writer believes they are on a path to Tolkein-like greatness – but when going back, they realize it was a giant crock of deer-doody. This will be unrecognizable unless you have an amazing editor (Sarah Rolufs) or have published your work and suffered endless amounts of embarrassment and/or have turned it into a teacher only to receive a bad grade.
The simplest solution to any symptom of writer’s block is to just take a break. Honestly, if you work your mind to its extent – forcing yourself to think of something witty and charming to push out of your pen – it’s going to either implode or just cease all function. So there’s prevention technique number one: Never force yourself to write. That is a writer’s worse mistake.
One of the leading factors of WB a mere lack of interest or inspiration, so if the subject is boring and tedious just don’t try too hard – again: A WRITER’S WORST MISTAKE.
We all have different symptoms of WB and ways of recognizing it, but I’m hoping my own experiences provide some useful and helpful advice in conquering the world’s hardest art form. As French poet Nicolas Boileau once said, “Of every four words I write, I strike out three.”