On Writers Block

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On Writers Block

By Don Bailey

Writers block is a phenomenon that refers to a writers inability to complete a thought. or continue in the same stream of conciousness. In this essay I will critique writers block so that anytime a writer is experiencing this phenomenon they will smile and continue boldly with their assignment.

First, what are you experiencing during writers block? In order to answer this we have to look at what a complete though actually is. In this context, a complete thought is a total visualization of an idea; by which I assume a couple conditions. First, I assume that the writer has already did their pre-organization through diagrams and outlines. This allows the writer to mentally see the story-line from start to finish. We realize that writers block has to occur somewhere in between, hence it is necessary that the writing is not aimless. This is true because there can be no expected or absolute conclusion for an unplanned project. A thought is complete when entertained and unconnected to a story-line. Second, I assume that their is definite format to the writing. We realize that writers block cannot occur during a creative writing session since there are no expectations but random thought. You have to be thinking about something!

So what do we learn? People expect either of two absolute scenarios; patterns or randomness. Understanding that these are the expectations of all readers gives us an enormous advantage. When our writing is based on consistent patterns, the answer to retiring writers block lies in continuing the pattern. Which means you can find out “what happens next” by taking a retrospective approach to your work. This means re-reading your work to identify patterns in characters, setting, theme and other subtle nuances. For theory, and scholarly papers, the patterns are more likely to appear in the reasoning and argument types such as induction or deduction.

Randomness is much easier, think of what you want out of your readers up until any given point in your narrative, then think of an unexpected turn of events that makes the plot much more interesting, finally you should write it!
Writers block refers to the unwillingness to take a global perspective on a writing assignment. Seeing the big picture means that you can zero in on even the smallest pixel to continue the thought. Writers block to the big picture is a myth. When writers realize the expectations demanded by their conclusion, their writing flows like water.


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