I believe I am regularly visited by the dreaded writer's block. But, for me, it rarely looks like what a block might. Do I have writer's block because it can be a part of the natural creative process--a nonlinear path to creativity? Yes, I believe so. But I think I try to handle writer's block creatively.
For me, I often question if I have a block or if it is writer's block masquerading as procrastination (or sheer laziness has crossed my mind)? Sure, I could get up and write each morning before my children are up...but maybe I'll just read more of this book into the wee hours and sleep through that productive morning quiet. Or I'll eat up my creative writing time bu making a list...or two. Over the years, I have convinced myself that my writer's block is essentially productive. After all, on a regular basis, utilizing the "writing" techniques that I've mastered, I've straightened my desk, organized and re-organized my files, and run all sorts of virtual clean ups on my computer. My favorite technique at putting off a writing project is looking for the one book I can't live without at that moment. If I didn't seem so desperate, I think my husband would find a comfortable corner and just watch me run about, looking for where I may have squirreled this "essential" book of the moment.
But it serves my purpose, most of the time. Instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, my mind is whirring, trying to help me figure out a way to approach the subject I want to write about.
While my writer's block is real, it fortunately looks more like I'm being productive and not blocked.
How about you? Do you have writer's block and what do you do about it?
Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer and editor in North Carolina. She is the Wilmington-area representative for the NC Writers' Network.