Writer’s Block


It was inevitable that the day would come when I really had nothing to say. One can’t leap out of bed every morning with one’s thoughts burning and fingers ready to type. There are plenty of things on my list of topics — I jot those down from time to time to remind me of possible 10 minutes — but none of them grab me.

That will change by tomorrow, I am sure, but what about today? How about writer’s block? Seems a likely subject, considering.

Yet you see how unreal writer’s block is. Here I am typing away, putting one word after another, forming more or less complete sentences.

And that is, of course, the answer. Writer’s block is — like most things in the life — a fabrication of the mind, a product of uncertainty or self-doubt.

We all have a million (or at least ten thousand) stories in our heads. They are there all the time but our disbelief in their validity keep most of them right there, locked away. We ask ourselves, from time to time, what if no one wants to read my story? What if my ramblings are nothing but what they appear, an incoherent jumble of phrases, quotes, expressions, descriptions, ideas, maunderings? Here I am becoming a walking thesaurus but to what end?

If nothing else, it shows you can produce something out of nothing. And that’s the amazing thing about art in all its forms — it is the greatest defiance of the laws of thermodynamics that you can imagine. Creating something from nothing and, yes, I know I’m actually turning caloric energy and electromagnetic waves in my brain into the physical process of typing words but, still, it seems like something out of nothing. At the very least, I am accomplishing that great feat of the human spirit — pushing back against entropy and the eventual heat death of the universe.

Ah, entropy. The thing everyone likes to talk about but so few people understand. Entropy is the tendency for things in a closed system to become more and more disordered. Entropy is often used by creationists to argue that there must be an intelligent designer. But they always leave out the closed system part. The Earth is not a closed system; energy is constantly being added. That energy allows for self-organizing entities — what we often call life — to create temporary order from disorder.

So you see, even on days when I have nothing to say, I manage to fit in writing, religion, science and the heat death of the universe. So, when you feel constrained in your own writing, do as I do as well as what I say. Open your mind’s floodgates and let the thoughts and words flow.

And that is ten minutes.

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