Is there such a thing?
Some people strongly swear by it and treat it much like a disease in need of a cure. I have heard plenty of cures, and some are more fantastic than others. It reminds me of the days of the Bubonic plague in Europe.
You know, there were people back then who swore the plague was spread by the smell of death. On the one hand, it encouraged them to dispose of the dead rapidly—which was a good thing. On the other hand, people doused themselves in perfume and hung strings of fresh picked flowers around their necks so all they could smell was lilac and honeysuckle – or whatever. I am not sure if the aroma of all that perfume might have been worse. I am one who avoids those counters at the entrance to department stores. But I was thinking, the next time you suffer from writer’s block, try hanging a string of fresh cut flowers around your neck. It might not help, but at least you will smell good for a day or two.
Of course, some people steadfastly deny that writer’s block is real. You’re just being lazy, they might say. Buckle down and get back to work. Sadly, we all know someone who never seems to be bothered by the block disease. How frustrating!
I can only speak for myself, but what I have discovered is when my work comes to a grinding halt (and all halts should grind) it is because something in my work is not working. My conscious mind doesn’t know this or see it, but my subconscious will not be fooled. Somewhere in chapter three (or so) I didn’t set things properly or I started down a different road and left it to dead end. Maybe one of my characters changed like from worm to butterfly without sufficient time in the cocoon.
Somewhere, somehow I got off track and occasionally a re-read is all it takes for the mistake to jump out at me. Sometimes, though, I have to set the work aside and work on something else, or I at least have to sleep on it to grasp the problem.
Now, I am not saying writer’s block is real or illusion. And I understand how it might be caused by any number of factors from too much stress to too many distractions to too much muchness going on. But I suggest if like Dorothy you are looking for your heart’s desire, you first try looking no further than your own back yard. It may well be you missed it or got off somewhere in the work itself and your soul is making your fingers take a time out until it is fixed.
What is your take on this?