Another Brick In The Wall

Writer’s Block: Less Like a Wall, More Like a Brick

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Another Brick In The Wall

Writer’s block is a fictitious little monster we feed every time other non-recreational activities make us succumb to their urgencies. More than half the time, writer’s block isn’t about a lack of talent or imagination; ideas often pop up on the way to a friend’s gathering or in the middle of a conversation with yourself. Often, it’s whether you’re worried about whether rent’s getting paid, whether the family member will finally get off your case, or if you’ll have enough time to write that piece.

You know, that piece.

That’s why writer’s block is less like a wall, and more like a brick on the sidewalk. Usually, I’m walking right along the sidewalk, minding my own business, when I’ll trip over this huge brick. I’ll scream “OWW!” and get so angry that I’ll want to fling the brick in any direction possible. Then, as I’m holding it, I’d feel bad that someone that doesn’t deserve it might get hurt by my brick, another writer perhaps. So I carry it with me, plodding through my writing even with this huge brick weighing me down. Through the journey, I get annoyed at the brick because I’m stumbling through these grammatical mistakes and factual ambiguities, but at least I’m still going through the motions and I haven’t stumbled.

I get home and I’m annoyed at the nicks and bruises I got after tripping over the brick, face full of dirt, knees scrapped bloody. I clean up a bit and notice that the brick is the right size for this part of my house I’ve been building for years now. I leave it there, get back out, and notice that I’m walking with more resolve, and more aware of my surroundings.

Writer’s block for a writer means we get a chance to reassess the way we go about our journey at every turn. If it’s not coming out, just push on through. It doesn’t have to be perfect so long as it’s still us in the writing. When we’re ready to ascend into writing like we ought to, it’ll come. Some of us stay home thinking the brick was meant for us to stop ourselves, others lay on the ground with no way of getting back on our feet after tripping on the brick.

I used to do that too, but now I simply can’t. Writing is such a part of me now that I’d do anything to recapture the feeling of a good piece. Even if I gotta trip over a few bricks in the process.

Jose, who can’t believe he’s actually had a real vacation …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonWriter’s Block: Less Like a Wall, More Like a Brick