This interesting video showcases a number of writers talking about writers’ block.
What always shocks and disappoints me is to see so many professional writers dismiss writers’ block as non-existent.
Most of those who comment dismissively on it seem to have a very narrow definition for writers’ block: the inability to put words on paper. Actually, there are many forms of writers’ block, many which have nothing to do with the amount of words you put down on a page.
I’ve been writing with and through writers’ block for many years, still managing publications, honors and awards but the effort feels pretty much like driving down a highway at 90 mph in first gear (for those of you who have ever driven with a clutch, otherwise just imagine driving with the hand brakes on). Is this the best I have to look forward to for the rest of my career?
According to these writers, yes. It’s as good as it gets. Maybe they (and their comments) are part of the problem?
According to very reliable scientific studies on creativity, writers’ block is real. It is stress-inducing and anxiety-causing. Creativity can be blocked for a number of psychological reasons, which can manifest in different ways: from someone starting lots of work and never finishing, to someone revising their books ad infinitum.
Therefore, “Just write” is not good advice — unless you think that writers should be depressive maniac with severe anxiety disorders.