When the Faucet
Reading as a Remedy
for Writer’s Block
Writer’s block is the phrase that would send even the toughest, most dedicated writer running for the hills. It’s the dread of all writers, the shadow that looms over them, fingers poised and hovering over the keyboard, hungry to be struck by an idea that will send them furiously typing once again. Because what do you have if not your ideas? Every writer knows how it feels. That lonely melancholy of not being able to do that thing you love most.
In fact, I feel it right now. I sit in my room thinking about all the things I want to write about but just can’t. Indescribable feelings, memories, scenes, and snippets of character that I can’t seem to put into words. But there is something definite about this feeling. I can feel the creativity inside me like a faucet that needs time in order to run water again. It’s okay to have nothing to write about.
I’ve been writing all my life, and the one thing that has proven itself time and time again is that writer’s block is temporary. But something that I’ve recently learned is that it is also necessary. I ask authors all the time: what advice can you give to me, a young aspiring author? And consistently without fail, their answer is always this: read. So, what do I do every time I get writer’s block? That’s right; I hit the books. I go to my library, browse the shelves, and leave with a stack of things ranging from science fiction to graphic novels. I re-read my favorites like The Count of Monte Cristo or Pride and Prejudice. Plunging into their worlds excites me anew every time, their style of writing reminding me why it is I write myself: because it’s what I live for.
I borrow from my friends, I look at reviews, I browse magazines, I read, read, read! I take their advice because maybe they know what they’re talking about when they say the best thing a writer can do is read as much as they can.
I might not like writer’s block, but I have to admit it gives me a chance to take a lot of steps back and re-focus.
And although it hurts to leave my projects in a corner for a while, they’ll be there when the faucet flows again.