Experienced writers in the field of creative writing know the fragile line that can easily be crossed over from typing furiously on the keyboard to staring at a wall with no inspired direction. When Writers Block hits, there are only so many defenses that writers have until they succumb to the worst syndrome of lost words.
No writer is safe from Writers Block, and there are no warning signs. Once it hits, it can stay with a writer for hours, days, weeks, months and, to the chagrin of some, years.
There are no reasons and yet a million reasons why Writers Block comes to visit. Authors may not do any preliminary work before they need to sit down and write, which can cause a rift in creative thinking. Sometimes it can be as simple as being bored about a topic like whether pizza is a vegetable or how many licks it takes to get the center of Tootsie Pop.
Other problems go a bit deeper such as being anxious about writing, being mentally stressed or even being self-conscious about your writing. These three push the early hours or days or weeks of Writers Block to the months and years side of the spectrum.
Being on that side of the spectrum is quite possibly the hardest side to be on for a writer. I, myself, have never had Writers Block longer than maybe a few hours, but my father on the other hand was a victim of years. I’d say at least 10 years of it. The last he wrote was the beginning of a chapter. Maybe eight pages in length.
And it sat.
Ten years later it was still sitting. He tried to write in a journal. He tried to free write. He tried to write at scheduled times. He tried to write randomly. Nothing worked for him. I knew it was his own mind getting in its own way, but how do you fix someone else’s Writers Block? Normally, you can’t. But one day, I wasn’t letting his Writers Block win and that was the day a new tradition was born.
I told my dad that once a week we would meet to discuss our stories. We each would take turns and talk until we were done and then critique and keep up with the progress every week.
There was only ONE rule to Workshop. Just one. You had to talk about something new. Whether a name, a place, a thought or just a semi formed sentence. Just one thing new.
Three years and seven months later, the tradition is still carried on.
My father has completed the book he started over 12 years ago and is working on his second.
All he needed was someone to do it with him. A creative environment to grow and be encouraged. Sometimes an author can’t get out of his or her Writers Block alone. Sometimes it takes something small or sometimes it takes a new tradition. Whatever it is that strips the mind of its creativity, it will pass, years later perhaps, but it will pass. Just be ready with fingers on the keyboard when it does.