Writer's Block --- Fact Or Fiction
Writer?s block. That traumatizing, frustrating moment that has paralyzed nearly every writer who has ever put the pen to paper. We sit at our desk, and suddenly can?t think of a word to write. Our minds go blank. Our shoulders grow tense. A thin bead of sweat appears on our brow. Our confidence as a writer flies out the window. The harder we try to summon the muse, the worse the condition becomes. We get up and leave our workstations in an effort to clear our minds. We meditate. We pray. We discuss it with our writing counterparts. But is it even real? Does writer?s block exist or is it an excuse not to fasten our seats to the chair and produce?
I believe writer?s block exists only in the sense that I believe in the fear of the dark.
Writer?s block is a product of fear. Fear of an inability to produce. Fear of publication. Fear of success. For the majority of us, it is the fear of that blinking cursor on the computer screen, telling us we will never be the writer we know deep down we are capable of becoming.
Like any fear, writer?s block can be overcome as soon as we recognize it for what it is and face it head on.
First, we must decide that nothing?real or imagined?is going to keep us from reaching our goals. Whatever that goal is: achieving a daily word count, finishing that term paper, or publication, we will finish the job no matter what.
Second, the best antidote?or better yet, prevention of writer?s block?is to make it a point to write something on a consistent basis. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do. It is easy to talk ourselves out of writing. Wouldn?t we rather talk about it than actually do it? We like to imagine ourselves at our desks, fingers flying over the keyboard through no apparent effort on our part, while the world looks on, in awe of our brilliance. But the truth of the matter is writing is hard work. It?s lonely. It?s scary. And it?s tempting to use any excuse available to avoid it.
Third, after we?ve decided that we aren?t going to let fear beat us, and writing the story on our hearts is worth the blood, sweat, and tears that go into it, we write. Writer?s write. We don?t give into adversity. Believe me, there?s plenty of it out there.
Our spouses and children vie for our attention. Our jobs take up too much of our time and sap our creative energy. Our critics remind us that the odds are stacked against us. Everyone knows there?s no money in writing and if you don?t know anyone in the big New York publishing houses, you don?t have a chance of getting published anyway.
All those things make us vulnerable to writer?s block.
But when all is said and done, the choice is ours. We can work through all the outside forces that thwart our creative ability. Or we can give in to that little voice that says we?ll never make it in this business so what?s the point of writing another word.
The point is I can?t stop writing even if I wanted to. I can?t wait to get the stories in my head down on paper. Even if no one reads another word I write, I?ll continue doing it and I won?t be defeated by something that?s totally within my control.
About the Author: Teresa Slack is the author of two novels published for the Christian fiction market. She has two books scheduled for release in 2006 and hopes to continue to write two books per year. Find out more about Teresa and her writing at http://www.teresaslack.com