Writer’s Block…Gasp!

Vintage TypewriterWriter’s Block. A frightening concept for any writer, and something that most of them will tell you they have had personal experience with. So what is it? How can this crippling occurrence happen with all of the information coming at us through the internet, daily interactions and social media? Wouldn’t those things provide someone with an imagination a constant stream of ideas? My answer is yes…and no.

Having information at your fingertips can be inspiring; there is no doubt about that. It can also help make developing a character easier by providing endless supplies of research material. But on your way to researching job skills necessary for your lead character to be a Scuba Instructor, or how many petals from a poinsettia it takes to “off” someone (not that I have ever thought about this), you can easily get sidetracked.

Research is a necessary evil of writing, but sometimes too much research overloads our circuits and gives us the excuse to avoid writing. That avoidance can only go on so long before procrastination turns into a full-fledged writer’s block-a-thon. So how do we avoid this horrible fate? Simple…by writing. Even if you have nothing to say.

I think Stephen King nailed it on the head when he said “If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: Read a lot and Write a lot.” I also believe that when you don’t have time to do either of those things, the very least a writer should do is think about writing. By keeping writing as your focus, whether you are hammering out the next scene in your novel, developing a character’s resume or working out how someone is going to act when they get punched in the face (also something I have not thought of), you will keep writer’s block where it belongs… in someone else’s story.