You know what the problem is? A man can only write so many words. That’s why so many great writers disappear into unproductive obscurity!
So I eh… I went to a library and read.
I found several writers who seem to have written a whole library of their own. A select few though have written well over five hundred novels. Top of the list is the late Mary Faulkner from South Africa who wrote a massive 904 books.
I also noticed that some great writers, with far fewer books in their stall, did suffer from writer’s block. At some point the words just wouldn’t come any more. Some eventually overcame it, and blamed fear, stress or a major change in their life to the fact that they couldn’t glue any more words together.
With 500 or more novels though, there doesn’t seem to be at all time enough in a life to ever suffer from writer’s block than during an afternoon tea.
So was my daddy right?
It doesn’t seem so. You can’t blame a swine for leaving an easy to follow trail! You can’t blame an elephant for leaving barely any! It’s not the limit in the number of words out there that causes writer’s block. It depends on the person. Lauran Paine nor Al-Syuti ever seemed to have suffered from it. Neither does Stephen King. But having read Lisey’s Story, we all know where he gets his diarrhoea of the typewriter. But that book does hold the cue to fixing this hard to overcome problem.
There’s lot’s of advice out there on the net that might work, and of course I don’t expect everyone to find their way to the pond where we all go down to drink, and some great ones even go out to fish (Many thanks to Stephen King for such great phrases). But it is the pond where we get inspiration. And if you can’t make your way to the pond, make it come to you.
The point with writer’s block is not a lack of words, but a lack of great ideas. And to obtain them we need to be creative. Share the story with a stranger, and ask them for a clue to what should happen next. That may give you surprising results.
The best way to get new inspiration though, is new viewpoints. And for that we need to get in touch with someone who really know how to make mind-blowing stuff.
Previously posted on My.Opera, when they still had a blogging service. I’m rerunning the Daddy Said series here; when I feel like, I’ll write a new episode. This one I wrote in 2009.