So I have decided to tackle the ever asking question “what is writers block?” In the dictionary writers block is defined as “the condition of being unable to write or how to proceed with writing:
However, in my opinion and as a writer who has been suffering from writers block for quite some time and unable to tend to the books I have started writing in the past I am not sure its as simple as that. And so, that definition is wrong, either that or it has not been defined properly. Most people who suffer from writers block are already accomplished writers and even authors but something has triggered that block. Many of us know how to proceed but the will to proceed is what counts.
A few nights ago I went out with two friends of mine and one of them said to me that he didn’t understand writers block, now with the other two of us who write fairly consistently, me in the term of blogging, more so than tending to my books and the other being a content writer for his business both understand writers block in our definition. I personally do not believe that writers block can be defined as one thing. I think it is a phrase that depends very much on the writer, their definition of it and how they may be blocked. For instance, me, myself and I…
I have inherited my fathers writing genes and the first creative piece which was read in assembly at my primary school in Zimbabwe was from a dream I had had and at school I turned that dream into a mini-story and enhanced on it and added twists…then that was that. A few years later into my teens I started writing a novel which starts off in the Belgian-Congo during the uprising between 1960 – 1964. Some time later I lost what I had started of that manuscript but in all that time I kept the beginning in my mind. But not only that, I started another book which is set in modern day Montana in the United States which starts in Seattle in Washington State for that I have done comprehensive research from agricultural, meteorological, historical, geographical and legal research. Sadly though, I do feel I am at a point where I need hands on research. I have also fairly recently started writing another novel which is set in modern day Zimbabwe of which I won’t discuss the ins and outs of as this piece I might definitely shelve as the future of Zimbabwe now looks like it might just be a very different and better future than the one I had in my mind when I started writing it. However, when it comes to writing I cannot proceed, I know what I want to write and how I want to write it but the motivation and the imagination I cannot muster. Now those who know me know I have a passion for equestrianism, they know I have a passion for horses and believe in the bond between man and horse, I have always got inspiration while on horseback or just spending time with horses – riding through the bush pretending I am in the Wild West and being a regular African cowboy and putting my horse in full gallop or herding cattle. Or just an easy moonlight ride where there is nothing but you, the horse, the sounds of the night, the stars, the moon. That to me enhances the imagination and was often inspired to write while riding.
So anyway, my one friend asks me how or why am I blocked. A question of the ages, yet quite simply answered – for me there is no imagination. I feel like I have no one or anything to share my heart with and that is where I believe writers block starts. It starts in the heart because that is where your creativity comes from, whatever you are writing or painting that is where it comes from – it starts in your heart, it starts with your passion and then it moves to your mind. One thing I have always believed is that if you do not write with your heart you will not produce anything of substance. And so when you feel no heart what you usually tend to write is not there – thus if you have no heart, there is no mind. Nothing in the heart, there can be nothing in the mind. For instance, the best poems I have ever written were a couple of years ago, material I have destroyed but the words are inside me because I was inspired by how I felt and how I was feeling.
But what is ones person of writers block is not the definition – the definition is defined by the writer. I for one feel empty, I feel like I have nothing inside to write for and so as such my stories sit in my cloud storage facility gathering cyber-dust and this to me is what writers block is. There is nothing to write for from the heart.
What I have found works for me in the past is reading what I have written and then taking it from there. Although there was once a time when I could sit and write and write without any disturbance. Perhaps one day I will find that part again but it is definitely all about your heart and it being in the right place.
And so, if you are suffering from writers block don’t push it, don’t try and force it but have a look see whats in your heart and take it from there…