5 Myths About Writer’s Block

Myth #1 – Writer’s Block Has Been Around Forever

I like to imagine an ancient Egyptian scribe standing befuddled, looking at a wall full of hieroglyphics. He had just drawn a guy on a chariot but now he doesn’t know what to draw next. He curses writer’s block as he physically tries to write on a block.

As fun as that may be to picture, it didn’t happen like that. Sure, ancient Egyptian scribes were stumped from time to time, as all writers are, but the actual term “writer’s block” is fairly new. The term wasn’t coined until 1947. Before 1947 when you didn’t have any ideas, you just didn’t have any ideas. Now we “suffer” from writer’s block. On the surface they may seem the same, but now that this “condition” has a name, the symptoms feel more crippling. As Johnny Cash said, “And it’s the name that helped to make you strong.”

Myth #2 – All Writer’s Block Is Created Equal

There is a huge difference between not having any ideas and having so many ideas you don’t know what to do with them. But oddly enough, both result in the same thing…you are blocked from writing. Before you are able to overcome the inability to write, you have to figure out what is causing the block. To help, io9.com has come up with a list of 10 types of writer’s block and how to overcome them.

Myth #3 – You Are The Only One With Writer’s Block

If I were the only one suffering from writer’s block, I would not need to write this post. In fact, if that were the case, no one would understand what I am talking about. When we are in the middle of a writer’s cramp, we think we are the only one in the world who could possibly be going through this. Wrong! Don’t believe me, here are 13 famous writers who have been quoted talking about writer’s block.

Myth #4 – Writer’s Block Means You Should Stop Writing

If your pen was out of ink and couldn’t write another word, you would walk away and get a new pen. When your pen works, but you still can’t write another word, you may also feel like walking away. And while it is not a bad idea to try and clear your mind, don’t automatically think you have to have to DEAR (drop everything and run).

Often, the biggest cause of writer’s block is our fear to put our words on paper, thus making us open for critique. If that is the case, the worst thing we can do is stop writing and walk away.

Myth #5 – Every Block Is Writer’s Block

As I referenced in myth #4, your inability to write may have nothing to do with writer’s block. You may have a busted pen, a dead computer or simply too many distractions. Just because you are blocked, doesn’t mean you can just blame it on writer’s block. If you can’t write, get a new pen. If your keyboard won’t type, charge your computer. If there is too much going on, clear distractions or find a new place to write.

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