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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

On writer's block part 2

Okay, you might not have true writer's block but you can easily have a writing impediment. And I am well aware, that true writer's block can be caused by things other than grief. It is just what caused mine.

Writing Impediments are caused by FEAR. And writers are subject to many fears. These are sometimes known as the Crows of Doubt, but they are different from true writer's block. I am saying this because certain authors deny that writer's blocks exist.

And if a writer has a bigger fear -- say the house being repossessed, or a great need of money, chances are they will not let the impediments stand in their way. Basically, Bigger fears tend to drive other fears away.
Writer's impediments can be a luxury.

So what are the common fears --

Fear of the blank page.
Fear of not having enough time to write.
Fear of writing nonsense
Fear of not knowing what is happening next
Fear of finishing
Fear of submitting
Fear of getting it wrong.
Fear that it comes easy for everyone else.
Fear that the daemon has left you.
Fear that you are going to be found for a fraud.
Fear that your novel is fluke.

This is not a complete list and other may have their own particular Crow to add.

Basically it boils down to a Fear of Rejection or some how of being mocked. And this fear can paralyse you.
You need to remember that fiction writers because they deal in the realm of emotion and emotional tension, feel things more. Thus they feel fear more. Most writers tend to have a thin skin. this is because they need to feel and there is nothing wrong with it, BUT they can develop strategies that are counter productive. Writers tend to more likely to suffer from depression than the average human being ( but this is another post)

It is not a true writer's block, it is Fear. And Fear can be conquered. It is one of the reason why people study the writer's craft. It is why people speak of having a toolbox. There are ways to stay productive. And not every coping strategy works every time.

So when you think you are suffering from writer's block, you have to decide if it is true writer's block or merely an impediment.
The cure for true writer's block is to take a break. The cure for impediments is slightly more complicated but involves not taking a break.
Tomorrow I will look at some of the other coping strategies.
And this is a very genral over view, but know that every writer does suffer impediments to thier writing. And as each writer is an indivdual, the impediments can be different.

2 comments:

Donna Alward said...

I was never afraid of submitting, actually, but I think I've had every other one on that list. Oh my. LOL

Jen Black said...

I thought I had it after New Year, but now my energy levels are coming back, the "block" has gone...
Thank goodness