Monday, March 26, 2012

Connections: Is There Such a Thing as Writer's Block?

On the South Asian lit blog Suprose, Thrity Umrigar talks about writing fiction. Snippet:
...I think fiction enables a writer to come closer to describing the truth...lets you explore unknown worlds...
Umrigar says she refuses to believe in writer's block.

Here are responses from Mira Kamdar, Padma Viswanathan and me.

Illustration source: Listening at the Gate 
More on refusing to believe in writer's block, this time from The Plot Whisperer. Martha Alderson suggests that "writer's block is more aptly described as a writer who does not know her story well enough." She suggests advance plotting and research as solutions. I myself tend to write questions over and over again in multi-colored pens until the answers begin to break out in random clumps. But whatever, it's a gap that needs to be filled, and it will suck you in if you let it exist.

And then there's life, the thing that sparks all story. Betsy James walks on frogs. What a great metaphor for getting over whatever this thing is--call it block or emptiness or not-knowing--that sometimes stops us in our tracks and threatens to stall the work. Just think of all those thousands of eggs, waiting for moisture beneath the dry crusted soil. Who needs writer's block when there are frog eggs to be hatched?

1 comment: