Saturday, July 5, 2014

When Writer’s Block can be a Good Thing

By Master isolated images, published on 01 March 2011
It may be sacrilegious for a writer to say this, but I have come to believe that the old foe known as writer’s block can be a good thing. When I am plotting or writing a story I will come to a point where writer’s block will suddenly shoot out of my unconscious and bring my muse to a halt. It is inconvenient, especially when I am working on a deadline. But, despite the pain the reason for the writer’s block is important.  Why?

There is an egoism that comes with writing. We, as creators get lost in our writing. We write things that our readers don’t read. We write the unimportant things and sometimes fall in love with.  These passages feel important to the writer because it gets our character from point A to point B in our story line, but it is unimportant to the reader. The reader will at best skip them and at worse close our work and move onto some other story.  When I start writing this type of section, I hit writer’s block. Actually, I don’t hit it—I crash into it like a jet plane that was going Mach speed.

Despite how important or fantastic I think what I am trying to write is or how important I think it is to the reader, the unconscious side of me knows it is a huge mistake. Some would say to write it anyway and edit it out later. At least in my nature if I leave it in for later editing too much of it will stay in. Instead, I listen to this instinct that raises the writer’s block. I will sit and ponder and try to figure out what it is that was important in what I was writing and see if there is another way to address it.  Sometimes that means moving on to another side project—like this blog is today. Sometimes it means doing something else entirely—for myself martial arts practice or throw darts, etc.

What are the reasons you run into writer’s block and what do you do to overcome it? Do you find it helps your writing or a hindrance? 

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  1. You can buy one of these!