I’ll start with a definition:
Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown.
[Sourced from wiki — believe what you want to believe]
You know the phrase ‘a bad worker blames their tools’. Of course you do. Heck, you’ve even said it to those around you who have found new ways to procrastinate.
But as a writer, your excuses don’t hold up.
A few weeks ago, I brought a typewriter on eBay for £20. It’s a real suave Olympia SM 2 or 3 (I’m unsure on the make). I brought it to replace the Consul typewriter I currently have that my mother handed down to me.
Both typewriters work equally well and do their job fine. Words come out in ink on paper. The Consul, however, has been sat on my shelf for well over two years now, gathering dust. Retired.
I thought that, just maybe, if I brought myself a new typewriter that I liked the look of, I’d get more writing done.
[Sidebar] I like to write creative work on a typewriter. I find that working without a delete button makes me think more about the words I’m writing, and the concept of craft and patience are all but lost thanks to technology, but using a typewriter keeps me practising these vital skills. And they are vital.
I didn’t get more writing done. In fact, I got less writing done. Right now, I have two typewriters on my shelf, both ready and waiting, both getting rusty.
My logic was that a new piece of kit would kickstart my way with words and that in no time at all, I’d be getting thousands of words out a day. I thought that if I brought a new pair of trainers, I might actually go for a run.
Up until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t written a single creative word for well over two months.
I had it in my head that I had nothing good to say. Nothing to say at all, for that matter.
I honestly felt I’d lost my ability to create new work.
Until I just decided to stop feeling intimidated by the blank page and wrote whatever came to mind.
And it worked.
Writers’ block is a myth.
See, I wasn’t physically or mentally unable to write, I was just afraid to write. There’s no condition to writers’ block, you don’t ever lose your ability to produce new work, you just worry the work you will produce will be bad.
AND THAT’S OK.
Writing is like turning on an old tap:
you have to let the rusty water flow out first before it becomes clear.
The key? Just write.