As I sit here writing this, I’m suffering from the worst head cold I’ve had in years.
My nose is blocked. My ear is blocked. My sinuses are throbbing. A dull, persistent headache thuds beneath my right eyebrow.
So, obviously, my mind has turned to the subject of writer’s block.
A common credence – one I’ve often considered myself – is that writer’s block doesn’t exist. It’s all in your mind. Stress, pressure, fear and anxiety have gotten to you; YOU have blocked yourself.
There might be some truth in that.
But, given my current condition, I’ve begun to consider other possibilities.
What if writer’s block works like a common cold?
Think about it: everyone gets a cold at some point and it affects everyone differently. You cannot immunise yourself against it. There are as many varieties of cold & flu relief medicines as there are methods to overcome writer’s block… and each method’s success rate will change depending on what strain you’ve caught.
Extending this comparison, how then would we cure writer’s block?
The sad news is that — like for the common cold — there is no cure.
But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do.
How To Cure Writer’s Block
First of all, don’t panic. A cold isn’t the end of the world; neither is writer’s block.
Secondly, resign yourself to letting it run its course. Most blocks resolve themselves; only seek medical attention in the case of prolonged blockage.
Third, just because there is no cure doesn’t mean you can’t treat the symptoms. Go for a jog, drink caffeine, use writing prompts… Whatever method makes you feel less gloomy.
Lastly, eat lots of kiwis. They have the highest Vitamin C content of any fruit, and whether you have writer’s block or the common cold, it’s bound to be good for you.
So is writer’s block all in your head?
But, from the depths of my blocked sinuses, just because something is all in your head doesn’t make it any less real.
I find that listening to Slayer at the same volume of a jet engine taking off helps to clear both nasal and writer’s blockages. And it replaces that nagging voice of failure with a terrific ringing. Tinnitus: try it!
Or I could just stand beside a jet engine!
NOT EVERYBODY IS SUCH A BIG $$$PENDER TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD A FANCY JET WITH THE GOOD TURBINES. My jet is a cardboard box taped to a dusty box fan and that’s good enough for me. Although we have excellent bottle service when we’re parked next to the refrigerator.
I meant the jet engine of my hair dryer. Better yet the hand dryers at work are so strong I have to close ny eyes for fear they’ll blow out my contact lenses!