Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

#WritersBlock ~ Is It Real or Just a Figment of Your Imagination?

If you’re a writer, you may feel you’ve experienced writer’s block—if you’re not a writer and know one, share this article with them… 

So, some writers are sure this blocking is real—some (like me) never have it

My Best Friend (an exceptional author) feels that any block for a writer isn’t really about their ability to write coming to a stop—more like another kind of hindrance—a holding of part of themselves away from themselves.

At least that’s what I’m interpreting my writer-friend meant

So, what if it is a figment of imagination?

What’s a “figment”?

My Oxford dictionary says: “An invented statement , story , doctrine , etc.”.


If we consider fiction writers, their whole purpose is to invent statements, fabricate stories, create doctrines, etc.


So, if writer’s block isn’t “real” but only a figment, a writer should be able to write their way out of it, right?

But, for those who still feel it as a reality, I’ll share some excerpts from an article on LifeHacker-AustraliaThe 10 Types Of Writers’ Block (And How To Overcome Them).

All I’ll share here are the 10 types (with my brief comments)—do go to the full article for their ways to overcome it

1. You can’t come up with an idea.

All I’ll say here is that you might want to consider rephrasing that—I can’t seem to come up with an idea

2. You have a ton of ideas but can’t commit to any of them, and they all peter out.

This one seems over-complicated in its expression—my advice: pick one, commitment or not, and start writing—if that peters out, pick another and continue

3. You have an outline but you can’t get through this one part of it.

I had a detailed outline for my short novel—it was bleeding to death from slashes and overwrites by the fourth chapter—I “rewrote” the outline

4. You’re stuck in the middle and have no idea what happens next.

Well, make something up—use those figments that are always lying around; and, if you don’t see any figments, make some up :-)

5. You have a terrible feeling your story took a wrong turn a hundred pages back, and you only just hit a dead end.

Shame on you—back up 110 pages and reviseIf you still hit that “dead end”, back up further and start again

6. You’re bored with all these characters, they won’t do anything.

Well, they are Your characters—you’re responsible for what they do (usually). Perhaps you need to reconsider the plot—maybe the characters don’t like what you expect them to do and are just on strike.

7. You keep imagining all the reasons people are going to say your story sucks, and it paralyses you.

If this one doesn’t sound like something besides “writer’s block”—perhaps lack of self-confidence or an overactive imagination—you might want to consider throwing the whole thing away and writing, instead, your autobiography

8. You can’t think of the right words for what you’re trying to convey in this one paragraph.

Oh, my—set it aside for awhile? Back up 10 paragraphs and start over?

9. You had this incredibly cool story in your head, and now you’re turning it into words on a screen and it’s suddenly dumb.

Oh, my, again—grab a few figments and create another cool story!

10. You’re revising your work, and you can’t see your way past all those blocks of text you already wrote.

My response for this one is to quote part of what the full article says about it:

“I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you’re getting stuck during revisions, that’s not any type of Writer’s Block (as nebulous a concept as Writer’s Block is), but rather just the natural process of trying to diagnose what ails your novel.”

Check out the whole article—share it with other writers—let me know what you think in the comments :-)
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4 responses to “#WritersBlock ~ Is It Real or Just a Figment of Your Imagination?

  1. Jane Watson May 20, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    I have always thought that there is only one real type of writer’s block – all the others I consider to be technical or structural obstacles that must be overcome by the writer as they make their way through their work. I believe that writer’s block has nothing to do with not having enough to say, in fact I think it is the direct opposite. In my experience every writer has something they could write about which is very powerful, and which touches the core of their being. Usually this is something they are ashamed of, frightened or just do not want to reveal to the world. And many writers, including myself do everything they can not to enter that inner world to find the idea they might explore. I have seen in my writing lifetime many writers who would do everything not to write about the story that is part of them and which matters most to them. It is as though they have taken that thing, locked it up in a vault and thrown away the key. But every time they try and write about something else they can still hear the faint echoes of the thing calling for help from the vault. And they feel crippled, unable to get really interested in the substitute story they are trying to use for a cover, to hide what they are most afraid of revealing. This kind of Writer’s Block is a powerful dam on their very soul, not just their writing. It creates a meaning crisis. Who am I ? What am I doing here? What if folks find out what I am really like? I call this WRITER’S BLOCK – and I almost got blocked trying to write about it ;-)


    • Alexander M Zoltai May 20, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Well, Jane, thank goodness I faithfully gave out a bit of your thoughts and feelings in the post—I’d thought I had it right and am comforted by what you say that I had remembered the gist of it

      So, again interpreting what you think: Writer’s block is the writer blocking themselves


  2. Amanda-samantha June 29, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Wow this is just what I needed. Thanks :)


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