Michele Cagan on Writer’s Block
- By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jun 22 2007
Author Web site: https://hsi.sharpseo.com/
As I sat down to write this article, I came down with a severe case of writer’s block. I sat here for a while, alternately glaring at the blank screen and filling it with a long-running solitaire game.
I got up, threw in some wash. Did a little vacuuming. Unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher. Tidied up the action figures littering the living room. I’ll say this, writer’s block is my very best cleaning supply—better than the Swiffer any day (and I do truly love my Swiffer).
Next stop, cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer of any food I may have missed during my last bout of blockitis. After all that emotional eating, I feel obligated to take a brisk walk around the neighborhood. This serves a double purpose: burning up calories, and as a thinly disguised pathetic attempt to run into a neighbor and avoid my blank screen for even longer.
Today there was no one outside, probably because it’s raining. I do my exercise/guilt lap and head back down to the dungeon of gloom and doom—a.k.a. my office on days that the writing just won’t come. That’s a lot of days, more than I ever realized there would be when I threw in the towel on “real” jobs and threw my hat into the full-time writing ring. I used to be terrified by it, but no more.
Writer’s block is frustrating, disappointing, intimidating, and scary. And not so bad…
Once you surrender to the block, you can use that time to do virtually anything other than write. I used to fight it. I tried all the tricks: writing gibberish, retyping something I’d already written, making idea lists. The truth is that none of those things work for me, nothing really does. So rather than let myself feel desperate, frustrated, and hollow, I just surrender. I walk away and do something else, trusting that at some point the words will come back.
Now that I’ve accepted that it just happens sometimes, writer’s block doesn’t scare me quite so much anymore. And my kitchen floor looks really, really clean.
Feel free to ask Michele questions in the comments section. She’ll pop in during the day to answer them.
To learn more about Michele Cagan, see Our Books at www.BookEnds-Inc.com.