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The Writing Life

About Writer’s Block: “Why Are You So Afraid of a Blank Page?”

writers-blockAny writer worth their salt has suffered from writer’s block. I’m sure of it. If I meet someone who says they’re a writer and claim to have never dealt with it, I’d think they were lying or perhaps writing is simply a hobby and not a serious profession.  For the most part, writing is hard work anyway; work that many of us lovingly endeavor to do because we cannot see ourselves surviving outside of writing.  However, there are times when Life dams our creativity and, even more so, our ability to produce anything that resembles literary, theatrical, or cinematic dopeness.  Usually, writer’s block results in blank pages, which are a writer’s kryptonite.  Blank pages will weaken a writer’s confidence because they represent the nothingness that we don’t want. Instead, we want pages filled with words connecting to other words that unfold into a beautifully crafted narrative. We want quotations indicating dialogue — this means our characters are expressing themselves and engaging each other.  Blank pages are terrifying, so we don’t look at them very long, therefore, we move about, making excuses as to why we are unable to get to work on the writing.

This short film below by kA’RAMUU KUSH is perhaps the most accurate portrayal of suffering from writer’s block. The main character is a writer named Axl Ellington who is obviously dealing with a personal issue that is affecting her creativity.  As she sits in her tiny apartment, intimidated by the blank page, she goes through a series of listless activities while her emotional state wavers from disgust, anguish, frustration, sadness, and anger. Even though she is developing a few noteworthy concepts for her writing, she is unable to focus primarily on them because of what she’s harboring inside. Finally, she attempts to write from her current emotional state, which is quite a hilarious scene to me.

As I watched this short film, I recalled my own experiences with writer’s block.  I’ve had my fair share of unproductive nights, frustrated and pissed off because I have one measly paragraph before me or three lines of dialogue from one character (when they’re supposed to have a monologue) and half a sentence of a stage direction.  The people in my imaginary world are restless and waiting on me to play God with their lives, while the people in my real world are worrying the hell outta me and I’m dealing with situations beyond my control.  But, just like Axl, I learned that every aspect of my living has something to do with writing, whether I realize it or not. As long as I made a point to write from my current condition, something worth keeping always materialized.  Reading has always been an escape for me, so when writing is not providing the salve, then I open a big book and lose myself in it.  Also, for me, music is a medicine; the more I listen to music, my writing life is much healthier.  Lastly, I really don’t agonize anymore when I have nothing to write. I just wait it out.  That’s the major benefit of being in complete control of every aspect of the creative process. I set my own deadlines and don’t have to worry about anyone constantly checking & pressuring me about the final draft.

What are some of the things you do to get over writer’s block? Share away in the comments section, but first, check out ‘Dear Me’. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

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Discussion

One thought on “About Writer’s Block: “Why Are You So Afraid of a Blank Page?”

  1. When I find myself blocked I try to reimagine whatever it is I am working on. If I am writing a novel I try to imagine what the story would be like if I wrote it as a play or a movie. Taking the written word of my novel and transforming it with all the visual aspects of a stage play or screen play helps me to view my story from my an entirely different perspective. Great post! Be sure to check out my blog. I put a writing prompt at the end of every post so if you get blocked again give it a read! Bye!

    Posted by thewriterscafe247 | October 2, 2013, 12:57 am

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