Is this a fair assessment or the equivalent of a man who’s never seen combat declaring “Shell shock, battle fatigue, PTSD, whatever you call it, is the refuge of cowards and malingerers”?
Plenty of famed writers have admitted to struggling with writer’s block including William Faulkner, Earnest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf. Are they “wannabes” or “poseurs”?
Is Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler on target when he writes in From Where You Dream, “Bad writers never get blocked. Writers who write from their heads and are comfortable doing that – they always have some garbage to put down”?
Or was Phillip Pullman closer to the mark when he said, “All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, and doctors don’t get doctor’s block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?”
Perhaps the difference between “real” writers and “wannabes” is that real writers don’t let a block stop them. In an interview with Scholastic, J. K. Rowling reported, “I’ve only suffered writer’s block badly once, and that was during the writing of Chamber of Secrets. I had my first burst of publicity about the first book and it paralyzed me. I was scared the second book wouldn’t measure up, but I got through it!”
What’s your favorite writer’s block quote?
Next post, I’ll detail my definition of writer’s block and whether it is the excuse of wannabes or an affliction of real writers. But first I’m eager to hear your opinions. How do you define writer’s block? Is it real or psychosomatic? What experiences have you had with writer’s block?