On Writer’s Block

They say that writer’s block isn’t real.  And that’s because it isn’t.

Not because the sensation of having nothing to write isn’t overwhelming in some moments, but rather because of the feeling that no matter what you say, no matter which words you let fall on the page, none of it will be worthy of another’s eyes.  This feeling is, of course, foolish.  Nonetheless, it comes upon a person like a dark torrent that causes a doubt in one’s ability like nothing else.

If I were to sit down to write, you figure, the words that came out would be weak.  They wouldn’t have a satisfying poetic element.  Or worse, they would have no impact when given to a reader.

Because while, from time to time, one can find solace in writing something that is pleasing to yourself alone, there is no greater joy as a writer than finding out that one of your pieces has meant something important to a reader.  There is no greater victory than to know that somebody else saw what you were saying and took hold of it too.

This relies on the power of stories, which remains among the most basic forms of human communication.  Through stories we find understanding of one another—we find out what it means to love.

So perhaps writer’s block is a fear of vulnerability.  Maybe we’re afraid that as we offer our thoughts—even as a chance of writing something worth sharing—we will never have it regarded as anything.  It could be that we fear the weight of purposelessness in the words we could say just now.

And yet, we carry on.  Perhaps because of a deeper faith.  Or perhaps because we recall that one time when something we wrote made someone cry because of what it meant to them.

Whatever the case, maybe writer’s block is the point at which we must decide whether we’re willing to take a chance on what comes next.

Because if we decide against writing, we may never find the grander parts of human experience that are found in faith or in hope, or even in the greatest of these, love.


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