Excuse Me, I'm Having Writer's Block

I don't know if I believe in writer's block.

Before I go further, let me disclaim that I subscribe to the theory that writing is both a craft and an art.  Some things about writing well can be taught.  Others are natural and impossible to imitate, no matter how much one tries.

As for the writer's block . . . inspiration can be the seed of a good poem or story, but just like in growing things, it needs a lot of hard work, cultivation, watering, to turn it into its full potential.  Poetry is not something that merely "happens" to certain blessed individuals, those touched by the gods with silver tongues.

Imagination is a muscle.  It needs exercise.

Writer's block?  Some days, I do find it difficult to write.  Not because some faucet of inspiration is plugged, but because, well, the baby is fussy and climbing into my lap, I have errands to run, I've run into a big plot problem that will take a lot of skillful maneuvering to make work.

And it's hard.  It's tempting to want to put the pen down or walk away from the lap top and say, "I'll come back to it when my writer's block is gone."  That's wishful thinking.  It may be that I will better be able to approach the problem on another day, when my mind is more settled or I'm "in the zone."  But the fact of the matter is that writing is something that has to be worked at.

Writer's block has to be worked out.

So here I to loosen the knot conventionally called writer's block.  It's not impossible to work through it.  It's just not easy.  And here's the true test: am I devoted enough to my writing vocation to push through to the other side?



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