Writer’s block is the dreaded thing that happens to writers when confronted with a white paper block or screen, staring accusingly at them as if to say “Fill me! Pah! Call yourself a writer! You should write, what are you doing stupidly looking at me?”
Thing is, I think writer’s block doesn’t do justice to the concept. It should be artist’s block, the thing you get when you’re supposed to be creating something, anything, you’re dying for inspiration and the only thing you seem to be able to do is updating your facebook status, for practice, like. I don’t get writer’s block often as 1) I ALWAYS have something to say or to think (take it from me, it IS tiring) and 2)I don’t write for a living, hence do not really put too much pressure on myself, but it happens anyway, and in these instances I’m left wondering what is it that’s itching me so much that I can’t express it.
Sometimes it’s plain boredom, I feel like I WANT to write but nothing comes out of my brain and heart and hands, characters are left wandering at point zero in my novel, blogs look like deserted post-war places. Sometimes it’s actually WHERE I am, as I have to say, when I’m in the Middle East, I constently carry a pen and notepad about my person, because I always seem to be getting inspiration. Beirut’s exceptional this way, it’s never sleeping, something is always brewing up, good or bad mind you, but things happen and people feel, and scream, and get up to all kinds of shenanigans, so basically, if you’re a stuck writer, spend one afternoon on the Corniche, another in Hamra Street and another in Gemmayzé, and you’ve gotten yourself a book. Writer’s block is your brain refusing point blank to cooperate with your hands, clearly indicating that now’s not the time to bother it with mindless little chitchat with yourself. ALthough I’ve always absolutely loved the idea of me being a tortured artist, sighing to the moon on sleepless creative nights, chain smoking and cursing Fate, I often get writer’s block when I’m too stressed, or too sad, or too preoccupied. I almost never get it when I’m happy. As for being anxious, well, I’m constantly anxious, so it really doesn’t make any difference (See I still had to develop some kind of neurosis, otherwise I’d be like a character from a Danielle Steel novel, all normal and weird). Also, I never smoke while writing, as really, one needs their two hands (Carrie Bradshaw, you lied to us all!)
But let us dwell a bit more on the opposite of writer’s block. What should we call it? writer’s unblock? Sudden Flows of inspiration? When you have so many things to lay down on paper that you’re looking frantically in your bag in desperate search for a pen and a paper, and that you end up scribbling bullet points in unreadable hieroglyphs that you’ll agonise ove to decipher? And, frankly, I could never be one of those high tech writers that take their notes on their iPad, epitomising how backwards I am for still using pen and paper and regular computers.
No my friends, being a writer is no easy task, there’s a lot of stress involved, but the good, ah, the good part, is that you have the words to bitch and complain about it. You just need a good pen, and a credit card slip.