Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I'm banging my fist against a door that won't open...

     Writers block…what can I say about writers block; well to start every writer will at some point experience the numbing, irrational dread of writers block and if there is a writer out there who hasn’t at least felt the terrifying tingle then I would love to know their secret. Writers block is, as defined by the Oxford English dictionary, the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. It can last from 12 minutes to 2 years, or even longer; it is the disease of writers, rendering us helpless; depressed and angry. It’s a phenomena, an enigma of the mind and if you haven’t had it, yet, than you probably like me and many others simply do not believe in it or maybe we do not want to believe in it after all it is a terrifying thought not being able to write a word, to do what we love the most. Of some consolation is the fact that even the great have suffered, Stephen King once admitted to ‘feeling like one of his characters’ when writers block settled in ‘the words would not come’ he declared, I’ve been there I know and many of you out there know too. The wasted hours sat staring at a computer screen, begging for a word, an idea, a single cognitive though relating to your work but nothing and nothing comes and I have found that it will not, not while you are forcing it not while you are trying to jam a triangular peg into a circular hole.

     So why is it so frustrating? Other than the fact that writing is you life, there is the fact that every other time of the day and night our mind never stops; it’s always tick-tick ticking away, the cogs are turning and the cuckoo often announces that there is something in need of jotting down at all hours. I have often woken at 2 in the morning and quickly, sleepily written something down, I used to keep a pen and paper by my bed but it became too much of an effort to switch the light on especially when after 20 minutes of trying to get back to sleep and having to write down three more ideas and so I reverted to using my phone instead. Anyway the irritation of writers block is more so because, like I noted earlier, any other time our minds are churning out idea after idea and some are even worth using.

     So why then does it stamp its feet and refuse to create? I found that my mind, it being a creative thing, and I refer to it as a thing as most of the time I feel that it acts as a separate entity to my body, it often runs away with itself and almost always is very stubborn. Trying to tell my mind to do something is like trying to tell a feline to do something, they will at their own leisure whether you like it or not. Therefore I have taken the stance that telling my mind or rather demanding that it develop a paragraph of writing good enough for the page only results the exact opposite; a paragraph worth of nothing other than the recycle bin and eventually non-existance altogether. So when a bout of Writers block attacks I simply walk away whether it be physically or mentally, I close the laptop, put down my pen and leave the room and I busy myself with tasks that do not relate in any way. Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘it doesn’t matter what you do you’re still going to think about it’ this may be true I’ve spent may a lunch time in a haze of writers block not even tasting the food I am eating and I have always found that as soon as I have forgotten it the mind springs back into action like a child begging for attention. So put on your music, dance and sing and forget about it trust me it will come grovelling back halfway through your rendition of ‘Total eclipse of the heart’ and then you will be back at it, writing page after page after page.



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