“Great composers have come through creative blocks to produce outstanding works.”
So what is it? ‘A periodic lack of inspiration that can descend on the most experienced of writers and that results in an almost pathological inability to put pen to paper’ – Brewer’s Dictionary of Modern Phrase and Fable.
It has been known to last for weeks, months, and sometimes years, which has lead to a somewhat understandable development of alcoholism and depression.
“Frequently, the onset of depression announces a period when an artist cannot find inspiration. Various studies show that suicide is more common amongst creative people. Certainly, they are more likely to suffer frightening mood swings – being particularly creative when elated, but much less so when feelings of inadequacy or worthlessness set in.
This surely is why many creative people abuse drugs. Coleridge, de Quincey and Berlioz all took opium for stimulation, and Byron, Shelley and Poe notoriously sought ideas using different drugs. And Kary Mullis, the Nobel Prize winner for DNA analysis, admits he gained inspiration through using LSD.”
Some people could use it as an excuse not to write, but surely it is a taunting psychological problem?
Sigmund Freud proposed that the personality or psyche has three parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. While the id is often compared to the devil that sits on one shoulder and the superego to the angel on the other, the superego is really the one responsible for the Critic’s hurtful and demeaning remarks. In other words, your Critic masquerades as a helpful little angel that just wants the best for you.
Reasons for this block to settle into your psyche are many and extensive. A lot of the time a writer does not know what has happened to his/her own mind to cause this to happen. What is there to do to overcome it all? There is a list of top 10 tips for tackling it on about.com – http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/writingroadblocks/tp/block.htm
When it comes to practical activities, such as those on the web page which I linked to above, it is best to keep an open and positively reinforced mind in order to benefit as much as possible. Tell yourself you can do it… revisit prior research… go for a jog or some other physical activity… maybe even take your mind away from the whole thing – ‘the answer will come when you least expect it’.
Do your best not to slip into the depressive/alcoholic/drug using trap as many authors have done so in the past. Find what is best for you – this blog post is just a rough idea! Good luck to you!