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What Is Writer’s Block?

Pub Date: Aug 1, 2015 | Columnist: William Kowalski, reprinted from WRITING FOR FIRST-TIME NOVELISTS, Practical Thoughts on the Creative Craft. Kowalski is a bestselling author and independent publisher

kowalski_013015What is writer’s block? How might I get it? How can I avoid it?

You can get writer’s block by kissing another writer who is already infected with it. There are no symptoms, except for one telltale: the writer who has writer’s block will not be writing. If you see a writer writing, they do not have writer’s block, and they are safe to kiss. If you see a writer out in public, they may look healthy, but you can never be sure. It’s safest not to kiss a writer unless you have seen him writing in the last twentyfour hours.

Actually, that’s all a lie. Writer’s block is not contagious. It’s not a condition, in a physical sense. It’s a state of mind, and purely psychological.

Just because something is psychological in nature doesn’t mean it isn’t real. It just means that since the problem is of a mental, psychological, or possibly spiritual nature, then the cure must also be of a mental, psychological, or possibly spiritual nature.

I’ve never had writer’s block. This is not the same as when you are stuck for an idea and can’t think of what to write. That is a common condition that is usually resolved within a few days. It’s not true writer’s block. It’s really just a case of reluctance or hesitation. You can overcome it by sitting down at your desk and just writing random words. Eventually the machinery will start working again.

True writer’s block is a neurotic complex that gets worse over time. Often, it begins as a creeping fear that one might develop writer’s block. For some, this is enough to suddenly have it.

Like the fear of success I mentioned in the section about finishing your projects, writer’s block is really symptomatic of other things in your life that need attention. Do yourself a favor and find out what that other thing is. Whatever it is, it’s big enough that the rest of your life is on hold because of it. There is no shame in seeking professional counseling.

The real shame lies in knowing you have an issue and doing nothing about it.

Learn more about Bill  at https://williamkowalski.com/