Crumpled papers on the floor, some in the bin, some out. A messy workstation with half-open and unsorted books, unfinished cups of coffee, and no accomplishments in sight! The next time you are witness to such a scene in the quiet corner of your office, or on-screen in some movie, know that you are being introduced to the aftereffects of what is known as a writer’s block.
If communication as an industry is a vehicle, content is the engine that keeps it moving, and writers the pilots. In this context, think of a writer’s block as a cold, snowy morning that prevents the vehicle from starting. Add to it an impending deadline to reach a destination, and you’ll start to get an idea of the urgency inherent in the communication industry.
By definition, writer’s block is the condition one faces when incapable to think of what to write. To support its existence and prevalence, there are some marvellous literary pieces that talk of it being a real thing. In one of his most well-read novels, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, the eminent English novelist George Orwell writes of his protagonist Gordon Comstock who faces a creative slowdown to complete a poem and explains it in the following way: “It was too big for him, that was the truth. It had never really progressed; it had simply fallen apart into a series of fragments.”
That’s what writer’s block feels like to a writer.
Though much has been said and explored about this temporary literary inefficiency, there are oppositions to it as well. Some in the industry argue that if you are a writer who is passionate enough, it is nothing more than a mere set of negative intrapersonal dialogues that one needs to overcome with no issue. After all, if you are a writer, you write.
Regardless, most writing professionals struggle with this condition. Even the most brilliant of authors and creative writers admit having faced this a number of times. This is why writer’s block deserves an acknowledgement in the communication industry.
In this part, I unveiled the significance of the term. Join me in the next part to understand how you, as a communication professional, can consider it for its impact and how, as a writer, you can deal with it.
Ritika Sharma is English Editor at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me