Writer’s or Sausage Block?

I don’t have one of those devices that sits around waiting for me to ask it which opera contains the most vowels in its libretto, or what the weather will be like a week on Tuesday in Mozambique. No, there’s no piece of eavesdropping technology listening in to my private conversations… Or is there?

Last month, I had a conversation with a friend about what she saw as the bane of a writer’s life – writer’s block. “Oh I hate it, she bemoaned as she wolfed down a couple of plain chocolate digestives. “How do you cope with it?” I looked across the table we were sharing for our socially distanced coffee and had two thoughts. 1. Should I point out that she’s just scoffed the biscuits I ordered – or 2. Point out that I don’t think I’ve ever suffered with it and I’m not actually sure it really exists.

“What do you mean, you’ve never had it?” she asked.

“Exactly that,” I told her, pointing out that our bin men always manage to collect our rubbish, not one to my knowledge has ever had bin block. The assistant in Greggs manages to serve up hot, filled pastry snacks all day without having a wobble, and citing they’ve got a dose of sausage block.

Huffington Post

During our discourse I gave her the reasons why I don’t think I’ve ever had it. She then pointed out that I’m obviously less creative than she is, and that it would probably be best to remove me from her Christmas card list. Upon leaving, she wittered on about something to do with not wanting to become a party to comparison by association.

I’m back home, sat at my desk and I open my inbox only to find that Google has sent me an email about courses to curb writer’s block. Was my iPhone listening in as it lay on the cafeteria table? The course details which have been sent to tempt me say it could offer me practical solutions to overcome psychological hurdles and resistance to regular writing. Now don’t think me mercenary when I say that if you are resisting the need to write, then maybe you shouldn’t be attempting to do it – Ditch your notebook and buy some boxing gloves or pack away your laptop and take up macramé.

(C) GMC Publications

The phrase, writer’s block conjures up images of authors and feature writers suffering with tortured faces staring into space. I don’t believe I’ve ever – let’s not say ‘suffered’ as it’s not life threatening – experienced writer’s block. I’ve had patches of procrastination. Moments of, I can’t be arsed to write and even a few days of distraction. But when I have sat down to write, that is exactly what I have done. I can’t claim that everything was worthy of being in print, but at least words hit the page.

I usually have more than one project on the go and so if I’m not feeling it for one, I can move on to the other and this helps me to maintain momentum. Also as I plan everything – sometimes to the nth degree – I’m always aware of what needs to be written. How smug does that make me sound.

However the test will be my next novel, I’ve already planned it and I’m choosing to concentrate solely on this and have no diversion project. So, who knows in three-months I may be writing about not being able to find my muse or that during the night the word elves came and emptied my head.

Free images (C) Deposit Photos

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3 Responses to Writer’s or Sausage Block?

  1. Patsy says:

    I tend to agree with you – writer’s block doesn’t seem like an actual thing to me. That’s not to say the words will always flow easily, some days it’s harder and some days we just don’t feel like it, but I’ve never got to my desk, opened up a document and not been able to write at all. Perhaps we’ve both just been lucky so far?

  2. Arron Owen says:

    Interesting thoughts. I don’t believe in Writer’s Block either – it is an impostor. What I prefer to believe is that I suffer from Writer’s Inertia, which I usually get in big chunks after I’ve finished a project. And well done for not allowing electronic spies into your house 😉

  3. As someone who was once a journalist with one-day deadlines, I too agree that writer’s block doesn’t exist, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t feel like I’ve been blocked on the days I can’t cough up the words for my novel.

    Anyway, I love your writing style! That was such a beautiful read.

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