Monday, July 5, 2010

Writer's Block: Does it Exist?

Uh, a lot of the authors I admire don't believe in writer's block.

On her website, Jacqueline Woodson said:
Nope. I don’t believe there is any such thing as Writer’s Block. I think it’s just your mind telling you that the thing you’re writing isn’t the thing you really want to be writing. If this happens to me, I start writing something else.

In an interview, Toni Morrison said:
I disavow that term. There are times when you don't know what you're doing or when you don't have access to
the language or the event. So if you're sensitive, you
can't do it. When I wrote "Beloved," I thought about it
for three years. I started writing the manuscript after
thinking about it, and getting to know the people and
getting over the fear of entering that arena, and it
took me three more years to write it. But those other
three years I was still at work, though I hadn't put a
word down.

Surely these ladies know what they are talking about. You can probably trust an author who's won a Nobel Prize, or one that's won a Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor, and a National Book Award.

So what should I call it when I get to a point in a story/poem when I can't mangage to write anymore about it for a long period of time? Let me be clear, I don't mean that I can no longer write period, cause I can always whip out a journal entry, a random blog, or a timed free write. It's that I can't write on that specific topic that I actually want to complete.

That's where I'm at with my La'Mia story. I'd give up on her if I didn't like her so much, but I don't know how to get back into her. I need some kind of pressure, to make me move forward. Sending it in to GirlChild Press might be the type of pressure I need; there was a call for submissions last week for 10 pages of a YA manuscript.

*hopeful face*


Ms. M. Hudson said...

I've seen Woodson's quote before and sighed at its conclusion. Writer's block has to be real, right? May be one should just say that his or her thoughts are out to lunch. That will mean, however, that many of my thoughts are out for an extended lunch.

Toya said...

I still believe writer's block exists. Maybe some authors term it something else but when you have something occupying the space where your writing should be it hinders creativity. Whatever it's called it is real.

It's said the best way to deal with it is free writing. Write anything for 20 minutes straight and see if it helps to open you up.

evelyn.n.alfred said...

I think free writing is great for me to feel as if I'm not blocked, but I still haven't gone back to the story.

It couldn't hurt to try it again.