To shine out like shook foil...

--Gerard Manley Hopkins

The Need To Avoid Writer's Block

The Preface to:
Avoid Burn Out and Never Have Writer's Block --ever!

Dumas fils

In this short write, I choose to focus sharply on detailing the need to avoid writer’s block, and why I spend more time talking about it than any one piece of talk elsewhere. To quickly illustrate this, I often ask colleagues, “Which would generate more intrigue: for me to talk about my writing schedules, or to explain how I, and every average one, can avoid and never have writer’s block—ever!”

One who never gets writer’s block has more readers who deeply enjoy their writes; and, obviously, has more varied product. These, then, are substantial enough reasons for the taking-down of writer’s block.

And every writer has time to write: that is, the same 24/7 is theirs. What they don’t all have is the same make-up or ingredients of life: inhibitions, habits, family members to care for. Writer’s block, then, can be described as stopping the flow—and some prolific authors may even call less flow, ‘writer’s block’, but in all types of writing tasks, self is the number one commodity involved in this flow.

When self is clearly expressed, and is not inhibited by pressures from inside or outside, or influenced by politically correct slants and other assigned ideas, we have that flow--the true meaning of authorship: a self-idea flowing out of oneself. It is still flow even if it is only one complete self-idea. And because self is such a beautiful commodity, and authors press out self-ideas as a life habit, writer’s block needs to be thwarted. The dams of different matter will most assuredly be there, but when they are razed skillfully, the precious spillways will still gush out at the bottoms.

Greatly simplified, the three major groups of authors are:

1. The writer who is a writer and needs to press out the self-ideas whenever they want to, 24/7.

2. The writer who writes commercial products and sends them to someone else. (job)

3. The writer who must press out self 24/7 whenever they want to for cathartic processes, and who is in commercial hire as well.

Again, let’s view the three major groups while looking at the general kinds of fall-out that can happen when writer’s block comes:

1. This writer stays free, lives free, and produces free. They can be stopped by writer’s block, but can go do something else and live to write another day. It’s not a job. Self is not majorly damaged.

2. The commercial writer must schedule frequently, for it keeps the others in their writing life from getting in the way. They must schedule according to all the necessary people who dictate, proof or enjoy their writings. It is a job. And so, self may not be majorly wounded if writer’s block comes ‘round, --but their monies will be.

3. The cathartic and for-hire writer: they schedule each writing moment according to the few or many inhibitions and traumas in their life. And often for them, traumatic re-occurrences ebb and flow, and their writing must ebb and flow with them. When writing blocks come, for whatever reason, self and monies move with these tides, and damages occur.

I write and I live what I write; indeed, everyone average writes, and lives what they write. But for me, here in the first category, the product really really is never a product for commercial sale, --it is, and must be, a charged substantive life-giving thing. Commercial writers are not so exactly tasked, for other selfs are attached to their product.

Finally, then, the dams that make the flow stop must be avoided, negotiated with as soon as they arrive in the head, and thwarted. This will keep the waterfalls pure, and these water writes will eventually carve their meaningful tributes all along the way. Listeners of living times will be able to hear all the varied bubble babble in the streams that flow from the main rivers, and which then satiate the lands through which they pass with the many gifts of self-seeds, above and below the daily turnings of our world.

Addendum: 'Author! Author!'

Yes, there is no difference between author and writer. Whenever my students draw in the middle of my class, I see a little bit of self that comes down their arm and into paper, or another way, I see something grow in the paper. The author does the same: something original comes from self and then travels down the arm and into the fingers and then into the rumbling keyboard. And then finally into the computer. A quote from Kafka is really a tantamount for me, so I quote:

...[W]riting means revealing onesself to excess .... This is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why even night is not night enough. ... I have often thought that the best mode of life for me would be to sit in the innermost room of a spacious locked cellar with my writing things and a lamp. Food would be brought and always put down far away from my room, outside the cellar's outermost door. The walk to my food, in my dressing gown, through the vaulted cellars, would be my only exercise. I would then return to my table, eat slowly and with deliberation, then start writing again at once. And how I would write! From what depths I would drag it up! [Franz Kafka]

Really. Revealing or growing onesself on paper...what an idea--a self-idea.

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