The Woes of Writer's Block
Updated on October 27, 2005, 9:03 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
In trying to write one of the most important literary pieces of fantasy history, a sudden, painful force hits upon a writer's mind. This dilemma can only have one name: the cursed writer's block. Though it has many variations: "miscreant menace, bilious bastard, grimy god…" and many, many more. This idea, sent by the misgiving muses of old, has forever plagued writers and forever will continue to do so. There seems to be no cure. Authors are alone in a tunnel leading nowhere, a place so vile, so mentally breaking, that the strongest of minds fold to its power. It is fueled by the failings of man. The place is Dante's Inferno. The place is in the human psyche.
A great tip for overcoming writer's block is not to fall for useless tools that help to fight it, or to ward it off. All that happens is that the inability to put word to paper lasts longer. Each person is different and, therefore, must deal with their problem in a creative and different way. Frantically the writer goes to the worldwide web in hopes of finding these tools to quickly disband his temporary exile from creative genius. He pours through different software, games, and process essays. Nothing works. "F*#@ing Internet!" cries a disorientated lost soul. Alas, obscenities don't work.
"There must be something I can do to get back on the wagon trail." Pacing back and forth across the room, tapping his head, the writer attempts to get the juices flowing again so that he is able to return to his work of art. It is practically no use, and the more he tries to think past his block, the harder it becomes to find his inspiration. Undeterred, he searches for more methods to regain his foothold. He doodles on a free piece of paper and writes random words and sentences. Nothing happens. He bounces a tennis ball off a wall while blasting his music through his Bose speakers. "Waste of time that was. Now what?"
Everyone, yes even literary geniuses, suffer from this psychological inhibition. It is a decrepit state; a state where confidence is lost in one's writing and creative ability, thus making further writing impossible. Writing freely with no interruption of thought cannot be maintained forever. A person's thoughts, more often than never, jump through his head faster than he can type. Soon a dark shadow appears. The chorus strikes up a chilling vocal cue, and the body freezes. His breath crystallizes in the cold air about him and he peers over his shoulder. The block has caught up with him.
Whistles can be heard from the teakettle on the stove. Mister novelist decides to make a cup of tea and watch some television to get his mind off his work. It might help. The tea tastes good and it warms his innards. On the TV is a movie. It is fantasy. How appealing. He takes a sip of his tea and spits it out. Jumping up, scaring his cat on the widow sill, he throws his arms up in gleeful jubilation. "EUREKA!" Ideas come flooding through the gates of imagination, and he is ready to go to full throttle. Leaving the television running and the cat to make herself comfortable again, the writer rushes to his computer and begins typing furiously. There is nothing to stop him. He pounds on the keys and moves his eyes frantically across the computer screen. His mouth etches out the words he is typing through a thick grin.
"And that's the prologue." The grin fades from his face. "Now what?" That cursed writer's block has returned. However now, now that he has gone through it already, he knows how to fight back. He saves his work and goes off to let his mind subconsciously deal with it. He will fight the battle another day.
In a reiteration of the concurring theme present throughout the story: writer's block is a temporary brain freeze, wherein the ability to come up with further words or ideas and put them into proper context is lost. Since it is known that writer's block is temporary, and that it is part of the psychology, going about fixing the helplessness is simple. The key to making the process simple is to know oneself and, thereby, doing what is necessary for that person to retain a foothold and continue with the work. Writer's block is not the end of the world. Instead, consider writer's block to be a needed break from strenuous work.
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