Saturday, December 27, 2014

Writers' Block and Creative Obstetrics

I had two or three interesting thoughts over the past few days, and sat down to put them into writing. After hours of struggle and dead ends, I found myself giving up on each of them. Slowly, from the most repressed rear chambers of my mind, there began to stir a most horrible phrase: writer's block.

But then I recalled Leff's Seventh Law:
When you find it difficult to express yourself, the problem's always in the conception, not the expression.
Show me a blocked writer, unable to express his ideas, and I'll show you a writer with foggy, cruddy ideas.

But that's never how it seems to the writer. For some reason, humans naturally have the conviction that their ideas are golden. If we could simply make the movies in our heads and paint the paintings in our heads and, generally, express our vision, everything would - obviously! - turn out great. It's simply a matter of externalizing it all. In their proto, unborn state, our mental contents unfailingly seem awesome!

Even when they're not. But we always blame the birthing process rather than recognize the baby's congenital defects.

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