Writers Block

800px-pierre-auguste_renoir_-_la_lecture_du_roleThere is an on-going – and often rather heated – debate about whether writers block is real, or imaginary, a figment of fertile and rather sensitive imaginations.  Whether, in fact, it would be easily solved with a dose of Epsom salts and a canter over Hampstead Heath or any other rather forbidding and earthy expanse of hill, moor, rock or mountain.

For the sake of the argument I will assume that Writer’s Block is real, and that it is a symptom of writers who try so hard to get it right, that one day, their brains simply refuse to co-operate nor write another word.  Writer’s Block is that outcome which says, You want me to write about feisty heroines, dashing cads – or dark and gloomy molderquarshes and franticulating fantoozies….again?  Now?  I just wrote you a wonderful piece last year?  You need another one??  Oh the hell with it, no, No, NO!

Writer’s Block is that outcome which manifests in a total inability to write anything except laundry lists, and even these have to be overseen by a kindly laundry mistress who holds the pen and croons soothingly, ‘There, there….’

Some wonderful authors have indeed had very serious writing allergy syndrome.  Their lives collapse, as around them the publicity machine, their agents, publishers and the hopeful public wait for another gem from the pen of…. Which simply refuses to materialise.

So to avoid writers’ block, these are my top tips:-

  • Scrap perfectionism.
  • Get the plot down in outline first, without obsessing about the details.
  • If the thought of writing makes you dizzy or ill, nauseated or stressed, LEAVE IT and go for a bracing run on Hampstead Heath or some other or any other rather forbidding and earthy expanse of hill, moor, rock or mountain.  Nothing is more important than being happy and relaxed.
  • Life is not about writing.  Life is about friendship, love, companionship, having fun, being kind to people.  If you can’t remember what that feels like, (if you can’t remember what fun means) you need to get away from your desk for at least a fortnight, probably a month, and preferably somewhere where you will be fed peeled grapes by an adoring acolyte who makes you feel special.

Thanks for reading!


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