Every writer I’ve ever spoken with has experienced times in which they feel as if they have nothing to say. Writer’s block, they call it. The vision is there – you know what you want to write, but for some reason, the words just won’t jump out of your brain onto the page.
I once read a book that outlined a few possible causes of writer’s block. One of them was perfectionism, the feeling that you needed to get every syllable “right” before moving on. Writers who suffer from perfectionism write slowly because they feel as if writing an imperfect sentence is somehow a betrayal of the craft. I myself do not suffer from this. I tend to just sit down and get as much on the page as possible, knowing that the editing process will afford me an opportunity to fix things later. Another cause of writer’s block, according this particular author, was a lack of research and/or understanding of the subject on which you’re writing. That is, you feel like you have nothing to say because you actually have nothing to say. The remedy for this is simple: you take a few days, read as much as you can, and then return to writing.
I am currently suffering from writer’s block, and it is unbelievably frustrating. What is truly frustrating is that I am neither a perfectionist nor one who suffers from lack of research (at least not in this case). Earlier today, my wife offered what seems like some good advice: take a break. I shall let you know how this turns out.