I’ve been reading some web comic artists going back and forth about whether writer’s block really exists or not, and I think I get where the originator of this discussion is coming from. He maintains that when someone says they have “writer’s block,” what they really mean is that they don’t know how to proceed with their current idea, but what they communicate is that they have no ideas or even ability to move forward–they are completely stymied. He argues that’s simply untrue; ideas abound, and the “blocked” person isn’t applying themselves to use those ideas.
The art, and this is my favourite part, is in the crafting of those ideas. Whether the ideas are good, bad, or mediocre, what makes a writer good is if they can take the idea and make something out of it. That skill should be developed independent of inspiration or feeling, and we should work to apply it evenly.
I get an idea a minute, it seems, but regularly find myself unable to apply them. Yesterday morning in the shower I had an idea for a story about a girl starting high school that I thought it’d be neat to explore, but instead I needed to put my clothes on and go to work. Between work, class, and stuff at church, I had a twelve hour day yesterday (without a break), and the somewhat worrying part is that I thought at the end, “Well, twelve hours, it’s not too bad.”
Regardless of how many ideas I’ve got or my desire to move forward, it simply can’t happen with this schedule, not with me working full time and going to school part time. I can’t complain of writer’s block though, not when my notes folder is overflowing, spilling onto the floors and into other rooms, threatening to consume us all with its hate and indignation. It ought to be nurtured and loved, rather than ignored, but that’s just the way things are.
There may be ideas I don’t feel like writing about, but we can’t let that keep us from writing. It’s a craft that takes work, and I want to work at it. Soon, soon I shall.
This post brought to you by kittens who desperately need attention at 1 a.m. and therefore meow outside our bedroom door until we consent to getting up and scratching their backs vigorously.