‘Writers Block’

Following on from my last post, one of the most powerful ways we can deal with something objectionable is not to give that thing credence, right? This is why I tell Creative Writing students that I don’t believe in ‘Writers’ Block’.

Again, this is an approach I have adapted from a child-rearing context. Parents are advised not to tell a child he or she is ‘naughty’. Instead, it is suggested we tell the child they have done something naughty. There’s a difference, obviously, and to focus on the behaviour rather than the child affords the child an opportunity to change their behaviour. To label a child ‘naughty, for instance, inhibits such a possibility.

In the same way, I find that to declare one has a writing block is to suggest that this is a state which is more intractable than perhaps it might be. It permits such a state – dignifies it with a name, fetishises it, even.

More helpful, I find, is to accept that there are days when words won’t come, or come less easily, but I won’t call this ‘Writer’s Block’. It’s all about words.

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