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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Does Writer's Block Really Exist?

If you're a writer you will find many articles on this subject. And when you start your career you may struggle more with this problem than when you're an established writer.

During my four years as a writer, I haven't really struggled with this concept at all. There have been times where I've struggled to write when I have been stressed, rundown and tired, but this usually rights itself once I've had a rest.

So, how can you make sure you don't run into this problem yourself? I think many writers start out with an idea and are so enthusiastic about it that they start to write until they can't think anymore. They thought their idea was going somewhere until they stopped writing and now they have simply run out of ideas of what to write next. If this sounds familiar then I suggest you stop for a while and do something else, and then come back and brainstorm a few ideas to see if they can generate any further ideas.

While some writers can just go with the flow and have endless ideas coming to them, I think it's best to always have a loose idea of where you want your story to go. That way if you ever do have writer's block you'll always know where you eventually want to end up.

Another good way to overcome writer's block is to read other books. I know when I read I always seem to think up new ideas. But sometimes you just need to approach your story from another angle.
Maybe I haven't really suffered from this because I always write from an outline. Sometimes my outline is loose but sometimes it's compact.

So what do you think of writer's block? Have you ever experienced it? What are your solutions to it?

If you have another stressful situation to deal with in life I do not believe it's writer's block that prevents you from writing. I've just had a comment from a lady that has made me realise I should have made this point clear from the start. But if you struggle to write when nothing else is wrong then maybe you should try and rectify the problem.


  1. A women on Radio 4 on Sunday evening suggested there's no such thing as writers block, just writers afraid to write badly.

  2. Hi Jo,

    I think I might just agree with her there. Thanks for commenting and happy writing!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. It's just a pseudo-scientific term for running out of ideas. If writers admitted (to themselves as well as to others) that they'd run out of ideas, this would contradict their self-image as imaginative, endlessly creative beings. So they brand it with a name that presents it as an occupational disease for professional writers.

  5. I've always had mixed feelings on the matter. There have been times when I've struggled in the early stages of a project (outline and synopsis), when I'm still deciding what events I want between the beginning, middle, and end. Yet, I'd have a hard time calling that a block. However, I do believe a common form of writer's block comes after completing one project and sitting down to begin something new.

    For the most part, once I have the story idea, the character list, and the skeletal outline, it's a matter of placing people in their assigned places and letting them (based on their personality and character) walk through the scenario in the outline.

    Still again, I can understand the writer's mood and emotional state can create situations where the creative juices simply won't flow. I'm reminded of Patrick Stewart's line in the opening scenes of Dune, "Moods are for cattle and love play."

    While it may be a true statement, it also holds true that being a creative process, fiction writing is very much dependent on mood. Anything that clogs the creative flow can potentially cause a block. Under such circumstances it becomes a very real thing rather than an excuse borne from fear of poor performance.

    I say again, I don't believe I've ever truly been afflicted, even after more than three decades of writing. Still, I stay on my guard, stick to my learned skills, and push forward.

    Be well,

  6. Hi Mary, I think you may have a point there!

    Hi William, thanks for commenting. You make some good points.

  7. My only comment to this is, I refuse to comment. It would give away the blog post that I'm working on. ;) I will how ever say this, "I enjoyed reading it and I appreciate your openness and your tips put forth for other writers."

  8. Thanks for your kind words Ariadne.

  9. Well it does and it doesn't. Most of the time if you have a defined destination in your story you tend not to have it as much. However sometimes the little detail during the journey of writing the story can get clouded.
    Not sure if that helps but thats the way it is with me sometimes.