When I tell people I have “Writer’s Block” they nod their collective heads knowingly without a clue what that means or entails. Writers are unique in having a readymade excuse for not doing something that fits their job description. No one says they have “Housework Block’ or ‘Taxis Driver Block’, or even “CEO Block”. Those that do are just called “lazy”, unproductive, or even unsuccessful. Yet writers get away with the mere mention of “Writer’s Block”.
Maybe we need to redefine the term “Writer’s Block.” Perhaps if you’re trying to write a novel but you can think only of short stories, you have “Novel Block”. Are visa versa, you could have “Short Story Block”. If you lack any creative ideas for a story, you may have “Creativity Block”. The truth is, I think I’m just plain lazy.
Maybe there are different levels or degrees of Writer’s Block, like murder charges or burns:
Writers’ Block --First Degree; This the worst level of Writer’s Block. You can’t seem to get the creative juices flowing again (assuming they ever did). You stare at a blank screen (no one uses paper anymore) and you have nothing. You haven’t had a creative thought or a good idea in over a year. You haven’t used your computer in so long you’ve forgotten your PIN and password. You’ve forgotten the working title of your latest manuscript. You can’t remember the name of your protagonist. You’ve gained 25 pounds. You forgot where you put your wireless printer.
Writers’ Block --Second Degree; You have a plot, and you have some characters, but you still have no story. You don’t know what comes next. You write words out of order, and you don’t know the correct order. You haven’t had a creative thought or a good idea in over a month. You’re so bored that you even called your mother. You can’t even write a short story of under 5000 words. You’ve gained ten pounds. You forgot to buy paper for your printer.
Writers’ Block --Third Degree. You’re just stuck. You can’t remember how to spell a word, or you can’t even think of the word you need. You haven’t had a creative thought or a good idea in over a week. You’ve checked all your e-mails—twice. You’ve read everything on your newsfeeds-- twice. You’ve even talked to your significant other—for an hour. You can’t even write short short stories of less than 100 words. You started a new diet—three times.
Writers’ Block --Forth Degree. You had an idea, but then lost it by the time you got to your computer. You haven’t had another creative thought or a good idea all day. You can’t think of a word you need to finish a sentence. You ran out of coffee. Your printer has started to gather dust. You ate all the leftovers.
Perhaps this is a better way to classify the types of “Writer’Block”. Using these definitions, I must have Third Degree Writer’s Block. Good luck to you others with Writer’s Block. I wish you well.