Celebrating Writer’s Block

I can recall several conversations with other writers in that state of drought, when nothing meaningful or exciting seems to be happening. The ink dries while still in the pen. Thoughts don’t flow, ideas are less than forthcoming and the next scene and sequence of the story remains hidden in the clutter of our minds. I’ve come to the conclusion that this state of “writer’s block” is a signal to/from our brains that either the capacity or concepts that enable and shape our thinking are fatigued. Often the line of argument and thinking (i.e. our worldview) we’ve been applying has been exhausted and requires a refresher. This might ultimately require rest but with the intent of triggering a new awakening. The latter I’ve found can only be achieved through purposely engaging with people and perspectives with which I wouldn’t normally interact. These lead to three outcomes:

  1. They challenge me. I might have to reconsider my own thoughts and perspectives on a topic, which would have influenced what and how I wrote in the past.
  2. They validate me. Either I discover that we are not as different as I thought and my writing is injected with a new burst of freedom, or I have a new thought that counters their position and strengthens mine.
  3. They inspire me. I learn something new and have insight to a completely different way of thinking that I previously never considered.

So, next time you have writer’s block, think about how you go about changing the lens with which you view the world. Who out there challenges, validates or inspires your thinking?