Friday, May 4, 2012

Quotes and Cookies: Writer's Block


On writer's block: "I don't believe in it. Plumbers don't get plumbers block and doctors don't get doctor's block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expect sympathy for it?"

~ Philip Pullman

I totally, completely agree. Does that mean it's never hard to write? That you never stare at the blank screen, and can't seem to figure out what the heck to write? Pfft. Of course not. But to me, not knowing what to write doesn't mean you have some kind of magical block. It means that you need to spend some more time thinking about your story. Thinking about your characters and their motivations. What is going to get in the way of what they want. Where the plot is going. What, exactly, is going to happen in that next scene.

So to me, it's not so much a block, as it is a sign that I'm prepared to write.

Agree? Disagree?

If you disagree, have a cookie! If you agree, have two. ;)

Photo Credit Link: Star Wars Blog

Hahaha! Just kidding. Disagree with me all you want, and you can still have two. :)

Have a fabulous weekend! And May the 4th be with you! [snicker, snicker]

33 comments:

Isabella Amaris said...

Two cookies for me, please:) Nice post. And to clarify, it's two cookies for agreeing with you:) I think you've hit the nail on the head for what many writers experience as writer's block. Hmmm, time to go think about my characters. Ciaos:)

Steph Sessa said...

Those cookies are amazing!! I agree about writer's block; if you're stuck in your story, there's a reason for it and you just need to figure out what's bugging you. Spend some more time with your characters and their problems. Thinking more is always a good step.

Rena said...

What awesome cookies. Two please!

Tonja said...

I love the cookies! Perfect for May the 4th! I used to design software - while technical, it also is creative work - you have to figure it out before you start. When I was stuck in that job, I did the easy parts, the routine things that need to be done with every project, while my mind figured out the rest.

That's how it is with writing for me too. I am stuck with my WIP. Glad you wrote this - reminded me I need to work thru it the same way I would work through a complex app design.

Kelley Lynn said...

I 100% agree. There are times when its HARD to writer. Maybe close to impossible. But I do believe, at least for me, I can force it out :)

How good it is... well that remains to be seen ;)

Amanda Olivieri said...

Love that quote! I've never heard it put that way before but I totally agree. Writing can be extremely difficult, but like you said, it's a matter of thinking it through and pushing ahead that gets you unstuck. Not the mystical lift of the oppressive "writer's block" :D

Also--awesome cookies!!

Laura Marcella said...

That's one of my favorite quotes! I completely agree. When I'm feeling "blocked" it's usually because I'm not sure where to go next in my writing. Or it's because I don't feel like sitting down and writing that day, haha! The only way to break down the wall is to just sit down and write and plan and do what needs to be done. And then have a cookie or two for a reward! :)

My blog post today is sort of about writer's block, too! And it also involves a delicious baked goodie. :)

Joshua said...

And here I was only making my homemade secret recipe chocolate chip cookies last night. And, you know...eating three of them at 3am.

JeffO said...

This is a tough one. For every 'there's no such thing as writer's block' person out there, there's another who swears there is because they have it or had it. I have not. I have sat and stared at the screen or paper and felt completely paralyzed, but I'm always able to write something. And even when that something is bad, it tends to lead into something better.

Kristine said...

I like that quote!

elizabeth seckman said...

I have 2 reasons for 'blockage'
1. like you said, the story is still fuzzy and I need to brainstorm a little longer...daydream a while then back to work
2. I cripple myself with insecurity...kick self in butt then back to work!

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

I agree with you that more thinking needs to be done on the story...so when I'm stuck, I go for a walk. (Apparently walking increasing blood flow, oxygen, and glucose- all that good stuff- to the brain, allowing for better thinking! Who knew- right? Running doesn't work- thank goodness- because I don't run!)I don't do a lot of walking though- and not because I always know what to write but because staring at an empty computer screen is much less work than getting myself off the couch and around the block. :)

Nice cookies- can I pretend they're gluten free??? Have a great day!

S.P. Bowers said...

I almost bought those cookie cutters once but my frosting skills are so poor I knew I would be hugely disappointed and never use them again so I decided just to save myself the money and buy a book instead.

I believe that every profession has things that are hard and times when you just can't figure out how to do the project looking you in the face. So I totally agree too.

Carrie Butler said...

Those cookies are all kinds of awesome! :D Have a great weekend!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

There are days when the words are especially difficult to come by, but it's usually because I've written myself into a corner.

Jenny Morris said...

I need those COOKIES. OMG my son would love them.

I agree about the block.

May the 4th be with you. Hope your having fun this weekend.

LindaK said...

Two for me please! A very reassuring way of looking at it. I don't get writer's block - I just get tired/burned out/fed up/insecure which could easily be mistaken for writer's block.

Jeff Hargett said...

hmmmm... only one C3P0 cookie and two of all the other characters? Someone must have disagreed though I can't imagine why.

The Golden Eagle said...

I agree, most of the causes of "writer's block" are just a result of needing to think things over and/or go in a different direction.

Michael Horvath said...

As a health care worker I don't get paid either, just like most of us aspiring authors. Ah yes, the only fair I know is where they sell cotton candy.

Kitty said...

Wow - excellet quote! I've never thought about writer's block that way before. Although I have recognized that (in my case) it's just an "excuse" when I'm being lazy! And? Those cookies are amazing.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I don't compare writing with being a plumber. To write, I am bearing - and sharing - my sole. The emotion of doing that can sometimes be too much, making everything shudder to a halt. The words can be there, but they refuse to fill the page in a coherent manner.

Can I still have a cookie?

Kimberlee Turley said...

I'll have a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie and one of those brownie cookies that I can't resist buying at the store even though they go stale after one day.

Ryan Stuart Lowe said...

I do want to say that there is such a thing as writer's block, but it isn't special: I get grading block (as a teacher) sometimes. I get reading block.

It's just the phrase we use when we realize that more time and more work is giving us diminishing returns. You better work on something else. The problem occurs when you've got nothing else to do -- or you're working against a deadline. Diminishing returns can be excruciating.

I can't decide b/t Boba Fett and Darth Vader. ;-)

Chris Fries said...

In any activity that requires creativity, it can be hard to consistently generate the spark of inspiration needed to initiate the perspiration of the gruntwork of putting the words onto the page.

But that don't mean it's not possible. It just takes dedication, committment, and the positive support of wonderful blogs like yours!

And thanks -- your is a special site that I always make sure my browser is configured to accept cookies from! ;^)

Clarissa Draper said...

I don't believe in writer's blog either. I think you need to spend time with the story, you need to fall in love with the story. When you love something, you never want to stop talking about it.

Libby said...

I love the cookies. And I love the quote. What do I do when I get writer's block? I write badly. It's not like your writing won't improve, but writing badly is still writing.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

What clever licious cookies!! Someone is vvvvery clever.... I don't belive in writers block either but I do think being stuck or bored with a plot is often the reason why interest wanes and than enthusisasm flies out of the window and the keyboard gets unused for a while.

Emma Pass said...

You're so right, Peggy. Whenever I get stuck with mt writing, it's because I need to go back and look at my plot/characters' motivation and so on. Nothing much magical about that. I usually write myself long, rambling letters asking 'what needs to happen next', and it nearly always works.

Nas said...

Oh! Yummy cookies!

A great post!

But carpenters do get the 'block'- bricks to build! Hehe!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I have house cleaning block...cause I've been busy writing. LOL! For me writing comes in spurts. Thankfully I've had a good spurt for the last couple months. :)

Paul Tobin said...

It's an interesting quote, I think that at times that our life situation impinges on our creativity and makes it difficult to write. That said I think it's a valid quote, perhaps what I am talking about is burnout, and that can affect anyone.

Millie said...

Random House is featured on Zulily today! I naturally thought of you :)