Writer’s Block Is a Decision · 24 September 2016

I am going to say something that aspiring writers everywhere will hate me for. But I am still going to say it.

Having writer’s block is a decision.

People who do not write for a living or who do not write every day but still hope to someday write for a living will vehemently disagree with me. They will spout and fume and might even put some disparaging remark on my social media or web sites. I welcome it. After all, a page view is a page view. A reader is a reader.

Now, I am not one to create conflict for the sake of conflict (or a page view), so I maybe I ought to just say that the thought of writer’s block is mythology. To me and just me. But I cannot do that. True, my conclusion is from my own experience, but I still need to say that writer’s block is a decision. A decision made by the writer.

I wrote about a phenomenon I called Writer’s Constipation a few years back, but was not keen on telling the world that writer’s block is a decision. A couple years ago, I wrote a poem about tweeting that intimated my thoughts about writer’s block. But now I must be forceful and tell the world that what we all thought was writer’s block is merely a decision. An excuse not to write.

I have come to this conclusion after many years of wanting to write followed by many years of writing. Those years of thinking that maybe I might want to be a writer some day were wasted years of wishful thinking. Those were the years of merely writing when I was inspired. When I felt like something stirred within me. When I had to write lest some blood vessel in my brain would burst and all those words would spill out on the ground wasted. Those were the years when I sat down to write and succumbed to the mythical writer’s block.

When I finally started writing in earnest, I only wrote once a week. I figured I could harness all my writing abilities into one day of getting something ready for my blog and posting it. I could just spend part of my weekend doing my writing thing. And even though some of those posts were far from polished, they made it onto the internet each week without fail. Or nearly so. But I was actually writing. Even when I was not inspired. Even when I had nothing to say. Even when I could have had writer’s block. That was the start of my doubts as to the reality of writer’s block.

To the newb, writer’s block is a convenient way to not write. It is a great excuse to take the day off. It is so entrenched in the psyche of every would-be writer, it is a wonder there are any writers at all. But the writers know. They know it is an excuse. They know, but not all will admit that writer’s block is merely a decision not to write.

I know that writer’s block is a decision because I almost made that decision today. I almost succumbed to my own desire not to write this particular day. I almost made the mistake of thinking that I just want to be a writer instead of actually being a writer. So instead of making the decision to use writer’s block as an excuse, I wrote. Nothing earth shattering, but I wrote.

So to all the students writing essays. To all the would-be and aspiring writers. To all the writers who know better. Stop using the age-old excuse of writer’s block. There is no such thing. Unless, of course, you recognize it for what it is. A decision not to write. Realize that you can write if you just put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard. Realize that writing is like any other job. You just gotta do it. Realize that Yoda was right.

Write or write not. There is no writer’s block.

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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