Is there anything truly more ironic than a person writing about the inability to write? Despite how outrageous the idea may seem, here we find ourselves.

While only few know the condition by name, many people have experienced writer’s block at some point or another in their lives. This state is characterized by the inability to produce new work while writing, or even a complete loss of one’s creative thought process entirely. This is a hot button issue not only within communities of writers, but within the public as a whole. Fore example, if you were asked to think back over all of your experiences while writing and feel confident in saying you’ve yet to personally experience this condition? This affliction is a threat to the writing process, and in some cases, it can consequently be a threat to a person’s sanity.

After my initial dive into the archives, I was struck by Helen Sheehy’s article, “How My Sister Cured My Writer’s Block.” It’s a gripping story about Sheehy’s relationship with her schizophrenic sister, and its connection to her inability to write. She describes the toll it takes on her to know she’s partially responsible for her sister living in an institution, while she has the ability to live her life as a “free” woman. The way she connects this heartache to her inability to write freely made me think, is this an often occurrence? Is emotional turmoil the main contributor to this unfortunate phenomenon?

My goal of this paper is to explore the contribution a person’s emotional state has to the development of writer’s block. I may also find other contributors, and in that case, it may be interesting to explore those possibilities as well. I plan on searching the archives to find as many cases I can find involving the topic of writer’s block, and analyze the similarities and differences in the experiences of the writers. I also plan on interviewing some of my friends who are writers in order to broaden my search.

I believe this paper could be helpful in order to better understand this phenomenon. I would like to find possible contributors to its occurrence, and the ways many people work past this condition. There are thousands upon thousands of writers in this world, many of whom will experience this many times in their lives. Compiling this information could possibly help another person to avoid this condition, or if they still find themselves in this situation, they will be equipped with proven methods of helping themselves out of it.

your brain on writers block


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