I just had to jump in on this topic, so I'm posting on Wednesday this week. This week we're discussing Writer's Block. Both Greg and CJ had some great posts about it already, so make sure you read their point of view also.
Like the title of this post says Writer's Block is a myth! I truly believe that. I hear so many people say that they suffer from this ailment, only to discover later that it wasn't a true diagnosis. In truth, Writer's Block really turns out to be the following:
"I don't feel like writing today/this week/this month."
"I'm bored with my current WIP."
"I'm disappointed from the reviews my MS has received."
That's just a few. There are so many other excuses. Yes, I said excuses. You see, to me, writing is life. It's everything to me. The only thing that should ever stop me from doing it is, death or serious illness. Anything else I come up with to not write, is an excuse. I seriously have the urge to slap some people when they give excuses to not write.
"My muse went on vacation." No it didn't. You just aren't listening hard enough.
"I'm just so busy." No. Bad time manager, perhaps. And for me, I have no problem getting 1 hour less of sleep in order to work a little more on my MS - but maybe that's just me.
"Everything I write lately is crap." This is the worst one and bugs the ever living daylights out of me. So, let me get this straight. You want to quit trying because you think you write badly? Wouldn't it better if you kept at it - so that you can improve? Right?
Now, I have used all of these excuses and more myself. I do have ADD, chronic depression, and I'm dyslexic. There are just some days where it's too hard for me to write. But does that mean I still don't have ideas? Of course not. I muscle through the issues as best I can.
For the sake of honesty, there was a time in my life where that happened. I'm a recovering Alcoholic. During the years of my drinking, I had no ideas, no urge to write, nothing. I didn't even have the urge to live much less do anything else. It was the emptiest and most horrifying time of my life and I refuse to go back to that. So, for me, anything that prevents a writer from writing, is something they are dealing with outside of writing.
Give you an example. I was trying to write a scene about one of my characters who had been physically abused by her boyfriend. I avoided it for days and told people I had "Writer's Block". In truth, the scene was just so close to my own personal experience that I couldn't write it. It was the hardest thing for me to do, to relive that same moment inside my head. In the end I wrote the scene - and goodness did I feel so much better afterwards! Not because I finally wrote the scene, but because it made me face a problem that I had been avoiding. I had lost relationships because I hadn't dealt with the feelings of that experience. Writing that scene helped me do it.
But - it wasn't Writer's Block. I was blocking myself, my own work. I was doing it to myself. Making an excuse to cover up the real issue. And I think that is what a lot of writers do at times. "Writer's Block" is the scape goat for all of us not to admit the truth. Maybe that scene is emotional for us, or perhaps a review really hurt our feelings. "Writer's Block" gives us the excuse we need to continue to hide the truth, even from ourselves. It's the umbrella to all the real problems that prevents a serious writer from writing.
Am I saying writers need to start professing all their problems to the world? No. Some things are better left private. But if we don't at least admit the real issue to ourselves, everything else suffers.
So, I have a challenge for you this week. Sit down and find out the real reason why you haven't been writing lately. BE HONEST! You don't have to tell anyone - but at least admit it to yourself.
Here, I'll even share my recent experience. My recent excuse is "I'm burned out." I participated in a Writing Boot Camp in June then jumped right into JulNoWriMo. I've had some wonderful writers crit my MS this month too. So what's the real reason that I've quit writing entirely these last few weeks? Was I really burned out? No. Not even close. I have been working on this particular MS for YEARS and when the reviews came back and said I still had SO much to fix, I was devastated. And I quit working on it. So the real reason here for me, was once again, me getting in the way of myself. I started thinking "What's the point?" and "I might as well quit writing all together if I suck that bad." Bunch of hogwash! What I really needed was a break from the MS. I had tried to edit too soon after rewriting. I wasn't ready for the crits and so reacted in a negative way.
How do I get out of this funk? Well, I could work on another WIP. But I'd feel like I'm quitting. I need to just sit down and do it. I know that once I get started, I'll be right back into the thick of it! Sure, the crits hurt. But if they make my story better, why would I feel bad about that?
Be honest with yourself about what is really blocking you from writing - then knock that wall down! Nothing can stop you unless you allow it.