I spent last week writing prose and so yesterday and today I am giving in and writing about writing. I know. Still, today I was asked to write about Writer’s Block. That scourge of universe! That blackest, most foul, of demons! That which should not be named except in daylight lest it’s power overwhelms us all! That utterly bullshit idea.
Sorry. There is no such thing as writer’s block. There is laziness, or as Kevin Smith once put it “Writer’s Laze.” That shit is real. But writer’s block? Laziness. Pretty much every time.
Most times, when people say “writer’s block” they mean “When I sit no ideas come, the words don’t flow, I can’t WRITE!” which sounds terrible. Funny thing, though – I can’t go into my boss’ office and tell him I have a strange magical condition that won’t let me do my job. And yet, even though I write for money, as often as not, I’m supposed to be able to get away with that shit. Seriously?
Dude, we must have you all fucking well rooked. Holy shit. Imagine if your mailman didn’t feel inspired to deliver your mail. So he didn’t deliver the mail that day. Or your mechanic couldn’t quite “feel the groove” toward fixing your car. So she didn’t fix your car. Would you just walk away and be fine with that? Holy shit, if I listen to the internet people flip out and start screaming “Fuck my life!” when they don’t get enough sprinkles on their ice cream. Imagine the uproar over this!
But the arts, are like, you know, special. They take inspiration, muses, they take the time they take, man and you can’t rush that sort of thing…
I promise you it was a writer who started the “You can’t rush it” idea. Wrote it into something and sent it out into the world as a meme. We do that. Because holy shit if you think you can’t rush it you’ve never had a deadline. And I don’t mean hack, bottom level, do it for a paycheck and run like hell work either. I mean quality shit.
The second I hear someone talking about their muse, how they need it to create, to inspire to etc etc etc I want to punch something. Creating, writing, is a job. It’s a job and you do your job and you don’t get to hope for magical wishing fairies to tell you when you can and can’t do your job. You just get your job done, because it’s the work you have taken on. And then you do more of it. And you love it, because it is the best work in the world but make no mistake it is crazy work. And yes, also play, I don’t deny that, but it is work first play second.
But we all get lazy sometimes. And if we call it something fancy like “writer’s block” it sounds better and we can get away with it. It is just laziness though. Honestly. If you’re facing down the screen and can’t think of the words you need to write and can’t force yourself to work – that’s laziness 9 times out of 10. And hey that’s all right, we’re all human. I get Writer’s Laze all the time!
I can’t focus. I can’t push through. I can’t do the work. But oddly, I can manage to sit and read instead for an hour and then watch a movie for another two hours. Those both take a level of focus that I know I didn’t have when I was trying to write. No way. I couldn’t have managed to focus, it wasn’t in me to… oh, wait. Yeah that’s being lazy.
So how do I deal with Writer’s Block? Easy!
Step 1: I don’t deal with it, because it doesn’t exist.
Step 2: Admit that being lazy sometimes is healthy. Admit it.
Step 3: So! Fuck off on occasion, not enough to damage your work levels, but enough to keep your sanity.
Step 4: Don’t forget to tell other folks about your crippling Writer’s Block and let them buy you 100% FREE consolation drinks.
Step 5: Get the fuck back to work, ya lazy shit.
There ya go then.