Writer’s BlockIt’s 1:27 on a Sunday morning and I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for about forty minutes. The screen is still blank and I don’t understand why words aren’t flowing from my mind. I’ve completed an outline, scribbled several notes, collected various reference books and yet, I haven’t typed one word. Am I the only person with this problem? I often wonder whether other people have to stay up late, snacking on potato chips and reviewing information, just to be able to write a sentence. Writer’s block is like a bad cold, annoying but surmountable.At some time, every writer experiences writer’s block. No matter how great the writer, staring at a blank page can be completely frustrating. Frustration can turn into fear if ideas do not translate into written sentences.However, writer’s block occurs differently in every writer. Some writers benefit from the downtime by reviewing the subject at hand, while other writers completely avoid the assignment. Writing, in any form, is difficult because it involves sharing personal ideas and opinions with an audience which can be overwhelming for a novice writer.Choosing an enticing yet familiar subject is one way a writer can learn to overcome this obstacle. Eventually, with practice, the fear will disappear and writing will become enjoyable.Writing in a comfortable environment can prevent writer’s block. If I try writing an essay with my television on or with my brother blasting country music in the next room, I know I will not accomplish much. Although writing comes from inside one’s self, the environment strongly affects the ability to write. For example, my older sister must clean her entire apartment before she can even sit down and begin writing. When she does not follow this ritual, she focuses on a dusty tabletop or thinks about dishes in the sink instead of writing her paper. “Writing requires a time and place, an habitual environment to coax and support those inspired moments that seem to flow spontaneously into language.” (Baker 15) Although different settings suit different writers, maintaining a relaxed environment is an important factor in preventing writer’s block.
I discovered the hard way that procrastination can lead to writer’s block. Putting off writing a paper usually leaves me stressed and unable to write freely. For instance, I usually begin writing a paragraph by jotting down a few key words and then create sentences from these words. If I’ve procrastinated, my mind wanders from my writing and I’ll start thinking of the time I have left before the assignment is due. Instead of writing, I’ll frequently get up to brush my hair, rearrange my shot glass collection, snack or even make my bed! Thus I avoid the stress of writer’s block by not procrastinating for a writing assignment.Writer’s block is difficult to define in specific terms because it surfaces differently in every individual. In some cases, the fear of disclosing personal ideas to others is the barrier. Also, a poor writing environment and procrastination can lead to writer’s block. However, writer’s block is not a sign of a bad writer; even successful writers experience barricades. I recently read that popular novelist, John Grisham, took a trip around the world to overcome a bout of writer’s block. Furthermore, my thoughts have suddenly vanished and I’m out of Pringles, so I’ll have to finish writing later.Baker, Sheridan. The Practical Stylist. New York, New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1985.————————————————————————Write to theauthor: PKZX62A@aol.com