Just a few days ago, writer’s block was a phenomenon alien to me. Not that I didn’t know what it meant, but I couldn’t really understand how people experienced it. I mean, just sit and write, how hard can that be? And now here I am - for the second consecutive day - sitting and staring at the screen in the vain hope that a good idea for a blog post will pop up in my head. After three blank, anguished hours, I have decided that the sole option I have now is to write about the very thing happening to me.
Before I decided to blog on a schedule, I never really had to think about what to write. I practically never wrote anything with the intent to publish. For my journal entries and occaisonal rants to myself, I could write about absolutely anything and at the same time nothing in particular. I could write absolute garbage and I would enjoy the process. Now that I think about it, there’s a distinctive kind of joy in writing things that no one will read except yourself. None of that ‘what will people think?’. Just you and your words. Besides those, the only writing I did somewhat regularly was book reviews I’d post on GoodReads and well, git commit messages. (And I am kind of ashamed to realize that it isn’t code comments). So it seems that writer’s block comes from having to write something, not knowing what, and having nothing that comes to your mind meet your demanding standards of ‘good enough’.
But how different is writer’s block from procrastination? Procrastination intensifies it, but is it itself a form of procrastination? The name appears to imply that writer’s block is involuntary. There’s something beyond your control, something almost physical, that is blocking your ability to write. Then, is it a breakdown of the mental faculties need to write? Certainly not. (I feel highly confident that my brain was in a working, albeit miserable, state when I was waiting for myself to start writing). You are technically able to write, but you somehow don’t. To me, the way I spent time not writing when I should have been writing is pretty much the same as any other way I procrastinate. If it looks like procrastination, swims like procrastination, and quacks like procrastination, then it probably is procrastination. In any case, I’m thankful that they call it writer’s block. Because if they didn’t, I would have no new topic today to write a blog post on.