From what I hear, writer’s block is a horrible condition. When a writer has it, he cannot write.
Beyond that, I can’t say what writer’s block is like because I’ve never experienced it–at least I don’t think I have. Judging by the reactions I’ve seen, it’s a safe guess that if I don’t know if I’ve experienced it, I probably haven’t.
I say this not to brag, but because I think I know why I’ve never experienced it, and I want to share.
To me, creativity/imagination is like a muscle–if you don’t use it, it will atrophy–that is, whither away. Now, I suppose this is the reason why many professionals say that writers write everyday. They want to keep that muscle sharp, and practice makes perfect. If you don’t write, you can lose it. So, writers write everyday–whether in a journal or on a blog or working on a story . . .
I think that’s where the trouble lies.
You see, if creativity/imagination is like a muscle, you have to rest it. You can’t work on your biceps everyday or else you’ll hurt yourself. In fact, if you have to take a day off when you workout so that your muscles can heal and build themselves up.
So, we have a bunch of writers who are writing everyday and not giving their creativity a chance to rest. Eventually, that will catch up to them. Writer’s block may be your creativity/imagination crying out for a break. Just like a workaholic will break down one day, your imagination may break down also.
The solution? I think that every writer should write 6 days a week instead of 7. Just take a day off. No matter what, do not pick up the pen or turn on the computer to write. Watch a movie or draw or do something inspiring, but don’t write notes, blog, or anything else. Give your mind a day to rest, and I believe you’ll be more productive overall.
That is what I do. I don’t write on Saturdays. I may think of a story or try to work on a plot in my mind, but my pen does not go to paper nor my fingers to the computer. I turn off my writer’s mind and let it rest.
Now, you may say. But I’m inspired or I have to write this or I won’t get it done. Yes, you will.
Think about it. Will you get more done if you take one day off a week but are more productive overall or if you work yourself into the ground and are blocked for two months in a row?
I can’t say for sure if that’s the reason I’ve never had writer’s block, but it’s the only thing I can think of. Besides, I once tried writing everyday, and you know what happened? By the second week, I could feel my imagination/creativity getting tired. I actually felt it!
So why not try it out for a month and see if you feel a difference? If you have writer’s block, stop trying to force yourself out of it. Simply let you mind rest and try to exercise other forms of creativity. Do something inspiring or draw or something. Every once in a while, pick up a pen and do some freewriting. It may just be that your mind is crying out for a break. So give it what it wants.
Those are my thoughts. Let me know yours.