This ARTICLE got me thinking a little bit about what writer’s block actually is. To me, writer’s block is just a matter of semantics. What one person calls ‘writer’s block’, I call just needing some time to let it sort itself out.
About two years ago I started writing a short play entitled “Jerome the Cruel and Merciless”. Actually, I choose the title long before I even knew what the play would be about. I do that sometimes – just pick a title or word and figure out what it means to me. So I started writing about Jerome and it quickly went nowhere. I let it sit for a while. Nothing. I passed it on to another writer friend and she added a few ideas to mine, but it still kept sitting there not doing much of anything. A year passed. Another year passed. In those past two years I have written a couple full length plays, a bunch of dramatic sketches and two full-length novels. No writer’s block there! But Jerome just kept sitting there in my writing folder. He wasn’t particularly annoying me; there was no mockery or name-calling; I just didn’t know what would eventually become of him.
Until about two days ago.
A simple image hit me. It completely changed the whole plot-line of Jerome. The image was so vivid that I knew it would work immediately. Yesterday, I started punching out the narration and dialogue and finished about half of it. The end is in sight and it’s coming together beautifully.
So did I have writer’s block for the past two years? I suppose you could look at it that way. For me, writing is the maturation of ideas. Sometimes my writing matures using dog years – very quickly. Other times it matures using the lifespan of a tortoise – slowly!
It kind of reminds me of this commercial from my childhood. Hollywood legend,Orson Welles, in his more plump elderly years, did a commercial for Paul Masson Mountain Winery. His tag line was: “We shall sell no wine before its time.”
That’s the way it is with writing for me.The ideas always come. Sometimes it completes itself before the the end of the life cycle of a gnat. Other times, it just requires the patience of Job. Is that still writer’s block?
I don’t know.