Writer’s block is perhaps one of the most terrifying terminologies in the writing experience of many writers.
For me, well, I have no idea who coined it, nor do I wish to dig down deeper to trace its origin.
However, in contrast to what many people believe in this rather theorized or made-up term, I, on the other hand, seldom give it a thought.
Not a bit at all.
I have been into writing for the last twelve years (since 2010). As far as I can recollect, the first interview call I received was from an HR executive of a Noida-based company. It was around 2 PM when I was heading for my lunch at a nearby restaurant of my work office.
The sweet HR lady on the phone informed me of the job vacancy for a junior content writer in her company. She wanted to know if I would be interested to work in her company for the job in the discussion.
At that time, I had no inkling of what she meant by “content writer” as I was totally clueless if there ever was a job that required me to write a great length of words as an essay, something that I used to do as home assignments during my school days.
I felt that I had no idea whether I could be benefited from so-called writing from a commercial perspective.
Anyway, I consented to the interview, attended it with the content team head, and cracked it to the satisfaction of my interviewer.
Since then, my journey as a content writer (though I prefer the term, creative content writer or just ‘writer’) is still on.
I don’t exactly remember when I came across the term ‘writer’s block’, but I think I have been hearing of it for many years. Say, for example, many of my colleagues endorsed the term in those days.
I remember one of them saying to me “Pawan, I see you are not writing fast enough, perhaps you have encountered writer’s block syndrome.”
And then my query was something like this – “What the heck is writer’s block?”
Even today I don’t think I should believe in writer’s block, considering I seldom pay attention to it. To my surprise, I have seen countless people on social media channels talking lavishly about it as if it is something dreadful and so writers should exercise caution in avoiding it by following this or that method.
Is Writer’s Block Real Or A Figment Of Your Imagination?
According to Wikipedia, writer’s block is an experience of creative slowdown of a writer.
Though the Wiki page talks about it at great length in its expansive post, I still feel incredulous about the validity and relevancy of whether writer’s block exists.
Or whether it is the brainchild born out of someone’s whimsical fantasy.
I know that what I talk about here may not resonate with the discretion of many of my readers or fellow writers, but since this is me talking anyway, let me put it straight away that I DON’T BELIEVE IN WRITER’S BLOCK.
And I am not going to subscribe to this notion just because many writers have almost surrendered to it as if it’s something fearsome mental illness.
Why Don’t I Believe In Writer’s Block?
I don’t believe in writer’s block not because I want to contradict the belief of those writers who believe in it.
Rather, I don’t want to believe in it as I don’t want to let this thought (writer’s block) rent space in my mind and then infest it with the negativity of something dreadful.
It may look like I am having a cognitive disorder or there is something wrong with my creative mind.
Believe it or not, whatever explanations about writer’s block that I have come across from various sources on the internet boil down to one conclusion – there is something wrong with the creative process of your cognitive faculty of mind as it has gone dull or is no longer functional as sharp as it should be.
The creative slowdown, as I tend to believe, could be an indication of the fact that your mind needs a little bit of rest or it requires the immediate attention of signing off from the writing that you are doing.
It doesn’t at all mean an indication of going retarded, as most sources try to point out or imply.
Here are my reasons for not believing in writer’s block and why I tend to spurn its existence –
Writing Is A Delicate Job
I don’t know what made you think that writing is an easy job to earn some easy money from it.
According to my experiential insight as a writer, I don’t think writing is easy or hard, but it is definitely a delicate job.
When I say it is a delicate job, I meant to point out that you are not supposed to take writing for granted, and that you must exercise a certain degree of caution so as not to mess with it while you are writing professionally.
When you write out of a professional obligation, you need to mind every word of what you jot down on paper, you need to take care of the tonality of your content body.
Make sure that everything you’ve put down in the content body from head to toe is readable, engaging, valuable, and sounds good to go for publication.
A job as delicate as writing, therefore, requires a great deal of mental exercise to ensure that you have taken due diligence in crafting something valuable for your readers.
When you go through such a mental exercise, there comes a time when your mind indicates that it has reached the threshold beyond which it may require a reboot.
Meaning, your mind signals a gradual waning of the creative process. This is the moment you need to take a break from your writing, and let your mind rest for a while before resuming your work. In this situation, I strongly recommend taking a power nap (if manageable).
When I have this understanding that writing is a delicate job requiring a great deal of mental exercise to carve out something meaningful out of various pieces of information/data, then I get the fact that my mind would feel tired out of working longer and attentively, given it’s a delicate job.
My mind won’t think that being tired or feeling the creative slowdown in my writing is an indication that something frightful is taking birth in it.
Any stupid idea attempting to mess up my creativity is immediately spurned by my mind. In turn, it makes me feel confident that I will write more later but until then, let’s just have some rest or do something different to keep yourself away from writing for a while.
Beware Of Thoughts; They May Ruin You Or Win You A Success
One of the most awesome (and trite) pieces of advice that I adore and love to repeat many times in my daily routine is – YOU ARE WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS SHAPE YOU.
This Buddha-endorsed statement has the power of giving you a caveat that if you don’t care what kind of thoughts you nurture in your mind, perhaps you will end up damaging your life in a way unimagined.
That said, the relevance of impregnating good thoughts in mind is that you allow it to become impregnable against the onslaught of any dangerously negative thought which accounts for negative impressions of many facts that you see in your life.
In this context, let me tell you that the reason your mind is not accepting whether writer’s block syndrome exists is because you have innocently bought the ramblings of naysayers who coined the term and let you believe that it is something dangerous for your creative mind.
According to them, if your mind signals a creative slowdown or blockage of fresh thoughts, then there is something wrong with it.
Hence, I tend to avoid the reality of writer’s block just because I know from my own thoughts that it doesn’t exist. And so, anything like that endorsed by rumor-mongers on social channels is nothing but exaggerated nonsense or unverified innuendo designed to make you feel uneasy and fearful.
The goal, as it sometimes appears to me, is to drum into the idea of overconsuming caffeinated beverages to tackle writer’s block effectively.
Because I have seen it. I have seen people blithely endorsing coffee or tea as a booster dose for your creativity in writing. I contrast this unverified innuendo, believing these caffeinated stuff doesn’t help you boost your creativity, but the practice and tenacity of what you do as a writer.
Maybe the caffeinated stuff, to a certain degree, help you feel energized, empowering you to write faster and more, but I don’t think these types of stuff do any good to your health. Eventually, you fall for their underlying danger, like getting sick of gastric or cardiovascular disease of some sort, eventually.
I believe that the quality of your thoughts shapes the quality of your attitude. Bad thoughts nurture bad qualities and vice versa.
Well, the point is, beware of thoughts you consciously or subconsciously allow in your mind for nurturing. If you think that your creative slowdown is the result of your mind getting out of gear, well, a moment will come in your life when you will have subscribed to the notion, without even you realizing that you fell for it.
That’s why I have been meaning this for years, that when it comes to writing, trust your instinct, intuition, or your experience of what you have gone through, not the desultory blithe of naysayers.
One more thing – people with a growth mindset, as I believe, never think that the creative slowdown is the result of writer’s block syndrome.
Be someone who thinks like that. That said, don’t nurture negative thoughts encouraging you to second the notion of “Writer’s block”, for they create the reality of such imagined notion in your life, thereby subjugating you to the slavery of it, eventually.
To reject the idea of writer’s block completely, having a solid positive frame of mine is indispensable.
Persistence Matters In Writing
Believe it or not but the efficiency you have in writing is the result of persistence. That said, you can’t have excellence in writing until you practice it hard for many days, months, years, and yes – a lifetime.
Let me repeat the story I’ve already outlined in the above paragraph.
I had no idea what content writing was all about until I received a call from an HR executive from a company based in Noida. In her cheerful voice, she informed me of a job vacancy for the post of content writer in her company and she wanted to know if I would be interested to take up that role.
When I asked her back what content writing was all about, she replied, “Well, Pawan, have you written an essay in your schooldays?” I said, “Yes, I did. In fact, I was very good at writing on various topics, mostly on the subject of COW.”
I was smiling to myself when I mentioned a cow, considering that was the most discussed topic during my school days.
“Exactly!” the voice of the HR brought me from my reverie. “So, content writing is just like that, you will be assigned some topics by your team head and you will have to create some solid info around the subjects.
So, my interview for the next day was scheduled. I did average during the interview session as most of the questions that my team head asked me, I simply flunked.
However, I was being honest and told her frankly that I carried no experience in writing and the only reason I was attending the interview was that the HR told me that it was just like writing an essay.
She smiled at my response and eventually I was selected for the interview, even though I didn’t answer most of her questions. Perhaps my writing style was acceptable to her.
Anyway, I officially became a content writer in mid-2009. I worked in the company for a few months and then joined another new one and so the journey of being a professional content writer has been in motion since then.
I want to tell you that since 2009, I have been writing. I have not replaced it with another relatively more lucrative career option. I don’t know why but I remained with writing.
I would like to highlight that I was tenacious or tenaciously followed the writing for the last twelve years. In these periods, though I waded through challenges, criticisms, mockery, and ravings of naysayers, I kept on writing.
Over the years of my writing journey, one of the best valuable lessons I have learned in writing is that it requires your tenacity, it warrants your loyalty and it demands your love for it. I personally believe that writing should be embraced in your life rather than considering it an imposition on your life.
Anything that is imposed on your life doesn’t stay with you forever, given you have no true respect or love for it.
WRITING IS ALL ABOUT LOVING IT TO THE CORE. UNCONDITIONALLY!
When you embrace writing lovingly, it loves you back and then you get better at it, eventually. I always say that choose your writing out of love. If you choose it out of compulsion, it will soon become a compunction.
If you are tenacious in writing, you get to understand that negative connotations like writer’s block syndrome no longer hold their disturbing influence on you.
Because your experience with writing always tells you that such connotations are nothing but baseless ideas born out of counterfactual narratives of naysayers or by those people who never wrote anything in life except preaching to people how to write.
Persistence matters in writing. It helps you to condition your attitude toward writing, telling you that as long as you love it and do it dutifully, it will love you back and become your best friend in due course of time.
You will not have to worry about writer’s block anymore. Persistence means getting to understand your job better than what someone may tell you how to do it. It builds your subjective experience which is relatively more powerful than any titbits you read on the Internet.
As a matter of fact, there is no substitute for the unique experience you gain from persistence in writing, which I find an absolutely curative method for writer’s block syndrome.
Good luck and stay positive!
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023!