Writers discuss writer’s block as if it were some scary communicable disease. There are a gazillion articles with advice to writers with ‘cures’ for this disease. I think writer’s block – at least with regard to the ‘inability to produce new work’ – is a bunch of poppycock. (And yes, I may be exaggerating a bit, so I can use the word poppycock.)
Now, hold on. Before you decide to block me and call me nasty names on Twitter, let me explain. I treat writing like a day job because it is my day job. A really crappy paying day job, but a day job nonetheless. I get up every day (okay, most days) and write. Some days the writing flows from my fingertips, but most days it’s a slug. And then there are the days when writing even a paragraph feels like an impossible task. Still, I write on.
Perhaps on those days on which writing even a paragraph is a monumental task, I am experiencing writer’s block. I don’t look at it that way, though. It’s just a bad day. No matter what job you do you will experience bad days. Even my husband, who loves his job as a pilot, has bad days.
Labeling a bad day as ‘writer’s block’ is – in my humble opinion – a bad idea. The term writer’s block has negative connotations. If I start saying I have writer’s block on my bad days, I’m going to get stuck in my head and start worrying about when this writer’s block will end. In that case, I may actually experience this mythical disease known as writer’s block. Better to avoid the term all together and just say I had a shit writing day. Tomorrow will be better. It always is. Or mostly is.
Thomas Edison said: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Writing is no different. Writing is 1% creative and 99% showing up. So, show up. Sweat it up and get it done.