Writer's block is a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand. At the other extreme, some "blocked" writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers. Throughout history writer's block has been a documented problem. Professionals who have struggled with the affliction include author F. Scott Fitzgerald and pop culture cartoonist Charles M. Schulz. It can manifest as the affected writer viewing their work as inferior or unsuitable, when in fact it could be the opposite. The research concentrating on this topic abounded in the late 1970s and 1980s. During this time, researchers were influenced by the Process and Post-Process movements, and therefore, focused specifically on the writer's processes. The condition was first described in 1947 by psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler.
Irene Clark notes that writer's block is a common affliction that most writers will experience at one time or another. Mike Rose defines writer's block as "an inability to begin or continue writing for reasons other than lack of basic skill or commitment". Additionally, The Purdue Online Writing Lab says, "Because writers have various ways of writing, a variety of things can cause a writer to experience anxiety, and sometimes this anxiety leads to writer's block. The literature seems to focus on two areas related to writer's block: causes and potential cures or invention strategies.
Famous quotes containing the words writer and/or block:
“I was thinking what an interesting concept it is to eliminate the writer from the artistic process. If we can just get rid of these actors and directors, maybe we got something here.”
—Michael Tolkin, U.S. screenwriter, and Robert Altman. Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins)
“When the landscape buckles and jerks around, when a dust column of debris rises from the collapse of a block of buildings on bodies that could have been your own, when the staves of history fall awry and the barrel of time bursts apart, some turn to prayer, some to poetry: words in the memory, a stained book carried close to the body, the notebook scribbled by handa center of gravity.”
—Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)