Up on Blocks

Here’s a quote from Philip Pullman (of His Dark Materials) that PVG posted on the Passive Voice blog today:

All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, and doctors don’t get doctor’s block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?

Up on Blocks  - CanyonChasersIn the community discussion, many writers disagreed with Pullman’s, but I buy it. I’ve been “blocked” in other, non-writing professional work—when I don’t know the answers and have to wait for the creative solution to come. And I’ve done enough complex remodels that I know plumbers and carpenters have to be creative…and it some times takes a while to find the answer.

Over 30 years of professional writing, I’ve asserted that what people call “writer’s block” is God’s way of keeping down the level of crap that gets out into the world. Writing might slow down, and require a few walks around the neighborhood, but if I’m facing anything that’s called a block, I ask myself these questions: Continue reading