Opinion

Writer’s Block Does Not Exist

How this concept is nothing more than a concept 

By: Angelina Salvador

A person writing in a notebook. Credit: lifeofpix.com

Has your mind ever suddenly become blank like the white screen or paper in front of you? Have your fingers locked themselves in anguish as you come to an abrupt stop when writing? 

A feeling of panic floods right through us, making us overwhelmed with uncertainty.

This results in giving up when we immediately stop writing and say we’ve hit that block. Our mind never knows what to produce and we suffer for days. 

Most of the time, it’s an excuse that keeps us from writing and figuring out our next sentence or the rest of our stories.

Whether it’s academic or writing on your own time, writers often hit a concept called writer’s block. It has always been a constant struggle for not just myself, but for other students and writers alike. 

Often, when writers stop typing or let their pens fall to the paper, we immediately say we hit that block. Our minds go blank and we stop what we’re writing. 

Even if it’s essays, poetry, or a novel, we instantly call it out; we’ve hit writer’s block! 

Author Neil Gaiman (Coraline, Good Omens, American Gods), takes the same stance. Writer’s block doesn’t necessarily exist, and he’s right. 

Of course, we do get stuck but it’s just something you say when you’re not feeling so inspired. 

Gaiman once spoke about this to Huffpost way back in 2015. “I don’t really believe in writer’s block, but I absolutely believe in getting stuck.” 

Although he preaches that we can get stuck when writing, it just means that we can undo that. The idea of writer’s block is just something we writers result in when we feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to write. 

The answer to whether or not it exists is much more complex than it seems. We can easily say it is real and explain that it’s real because we can’t write what we’re supposed to; but, we can say it is not real because it infers that we might not be able to write again. 

Writer’s block really does not exist. The reason why it doesn’t exist is that it is strictly a concept to keep us from writing when we’re feeling tired, uninspired, or even lazy. 

Gaiman, during a book reading in Texas, also said, “writer’s block is a sympathy card. Only writers could be so inventive as to come up with it.” As writers, we’re undeniably talented and smart but once we draw that card, it ends up preventing us from writing. 

When we pull this card, it creates this idea in our heads that happens to be negative towards ourselves. Calling it a writer’s block continues to put in our mind that we aren’t good enough and that we won’t be able to pick up the pen or start typing again. 

Sabrina Benet, a Journalism major and senior at College of Staten Island, has a similar stance as well. “I feel like sometimes writer’s block is a social construct. Like, for instance, the phrase is thrown down a lot in school. But I also feel like writer’s block can be mistaken for lack of inspiration.” 

Like briefly mentioned previously, Benet explains that the phrase is a social construct. Society might present this phrase as an excuse for people to use left and write, which keeps people in a state of mind of not knowing what to write. 

As for the advice most people like myself like to give, is to just write. But as often as we hate hearing that, it truly is the best advice when we hit an uninspiring moment. 

The saying ‘just write’ is really effective if you let it. You can open up the journal and the word document and write whatever you want until you feel absolutely satisfied. 

So, the next time your mind flushes out all the thoughts and you can’t think of anything, don’t allow yourself to succumb to the concept. It’ll keep you from doing what you need to do, and what you love. 

No matter how ridiculous it starts out, it can and will turn into something. So, what are you waiting for? Stop reading articles about writer’s block and get to writing!

 

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