Saturday, 7 March 2009

Writer's block

It's fallacious, and kind of insulting, to tell people suffering from writer's block 'there's no such thing as writer's block'; because, empirically, there is such a thing; and it can be very distressing. But there's a truth in the 'no such thing' line nevertheless, because writer's block is actually a simply collision of two things (writing something new, revising something you have written) that ought to be kept separate. First you get it written; then you get it right. Don't attempt to get it right whilst you are getting it written, or the block will clunk in. What writer's block is, in fact, is that portion of your mind that says 'not very well put, that could be better' and suchlike commendable sentiments at war with that portion of your mind that actually comes up with the shit in the first place. Don't put them in the same room at the same time. Good mental fences make good writers.

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