Should We Ever Listen to Writer’s Block?

Some say writer’s block is a myth. Perhaps they’re right.

But I believe that difficulty in creating is found in artists of all kinds, and it takes a multitude of forms. At its most basic core, a “block” as I see it is the overall or underlying feeling of wanting to create—but the immediate feeling of not wanting to create (or being unable to).

Why, when all we do is talk about our dreams and passions, do we sit down and not want to write?

Sometimes it’s not knowing what to write, or exactly how to write out what we have in mind. For matters of inexperience or uncertainty, pushing through is often the only option—trusting in subsequent drafts, trusting in the learning process. This can be scary and may not always result in finished products, but when you want to write and just don’t know how, you just have to try things.

But what about when you don’t want to write?

See, I have always wanted to be a writer, but I often don’t want to actually write. This disconnect is either just my particular manifestation of a block, in the form of apathy, or it is a more serious indicator that my creativity was not meant for writing books.

Which I would sadly and reluctantly believe, if I hadn’t written a book—and enjoyed it! What happened? Did I just happen upon the one idea in the universe I could actually write? The right character, setting, plot? Or did I just manage to push through a block like so many others face, and once I got going, it started to flow?

This has been my struggle in trying to write something else… just to see if I can. But it’s like twisting a Rubik’s cube, trying this angle or that, this character or that, this plot type or that, over and over until I lose all interest and chuck it across the (mental) room. I can come up with static scenarios and characters that interest me, but they’re like a movie poster, at most a trailer—not a movie. Not a story.

I’m complaining about this struggle as part of the journaling process, even though I think it’s a problem I have to work through on my own. It won’t stop me from editing my original project to the best of my ability, and seeking to share that project in whatever way I can. If nothing else, I have written one book, and I love it.

I’m just not sure what it means for my creativity and my life if I can’t write another one. Or what it means that I have to keep trying so hard…

Do I dare to follow my peculiar stunted version of creativity into the unknown, creating what I want even if I can’t do much with it? Or is it better to force my wayward creativity to stay on the track of the conventional, working at it like a professional?


About J. Sevick

Just write.
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