Blocked passages

January 29, 2015

If episodes of writer’s block are as common as headaches, are they also as easy to alleviate (“To steer clear of a writing rut, take a helicopter view”, Careers intelligence, 22 January)? Gina Wisker advises that you should “plan what you feel you need to write” – which struck me as treating the problem as a solution. That is, I can’t plan that which I am mentally blocked from writing.

The phrase “helicopter view” should also be used with caution, given that it doesn’t explain much at all. If a writer has a block about what to write, these ambiguous two words don’t describe any helpful aspect of what to do next. They might refer to a scan across previous headings or paragraphs, but that isn’t the issue of a block that the passage of time itself may solve.

Neil Richardson
Kirkheaton

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