The author, Mary Shelly, gave us Frankenstein – the monster that can result from our creative endeavours. Percy Shelly, her husband, created a far more insidious monster that we often fail to recognize: the idea of writer’s block.
Writer’s block is absurd. Few other professional outside the creative field have such a thing. A computer programmer doesn’t have coder’s block. Imagine if a doctor had surgeon’s block while standing over an operation table.
Secondly, the term “writer’s block” is the elephant behind which an artist can hide. In all professions, one is expected to improve with experience and deliberate practice. And yet, a writer can claim that he has writer’s block and refuse to do precisely the work that pushes him towards excellence. It serves as a term of consolation for premature resignation.
Writer’s block has a remedy. If your subconscious mind isn’t bursting with ideas, it is because you’re not giving it enough quality input. Like quinine is to Malaria, reading is a sure shot cure to writer’s block of all forms. If you are feeling stuck as a writer, it isn’t a sign that your writing career is over. It is merely a sign that you haven’t done your due diligence.
We don’t mourn sick people. We treat them for their sickness. The cure for writer’s block is reading. And there is no such thing as reader’s block.