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.