Writer’s block, that is. “Experiencing ‘writer’s block,'” however, is an overused phrase, in my opinion. I frequently experience the frustration of not being able to make the words fit together the way I want them to fit together. I am, in fact, having this experience right now. I should be writing my 5 daily pages of the novel on which I’m currently working, but on Friday, when I last worked on said novel, my use of the “backspace” key on my keyboard surely broke some kind of record. I got my daily pages written, but it was a grueling afternoon. Some days are just like that. That kind of struggle isn’t what I call “writer’s block.”
I have had the supremely frightening experience of being so blank, so lost, so void of ideas, that I just knew the only thing I’d ever write again was a grocery list. This kind of “going blank” seems to respond to nothing. No effort you make, no self-imposed writing exercise you concoct, no amount of begging, pleading and crying, move the deaf Muses. When I have experienced true writer’s block, I have had to engage in major reevaluations as to my life’s goals … and even as to how I describe myself to the rest of the world. Consider for a moment the Dictionary.com definition of writer’s block: –noun
a usually temporary condition in which a writer finds it impossible to proceed with the writing of a novel, play, or other work.
“Impossible!” Not possible. Not doable. Cannot be done. When you are in the throes of this kind of block, you quite literally cannot go on. “Impossible to proceed” is far worse than “difficult to proceed.” Perhaps you’re here reading this because, like me, you are putting off having to do what you anticipate will be a difficult task. Let us both be grateful that the task is not impossible. And let us be incited by the most frightening phrase from the above-quoted definition: “usually temporary.”