Have you ever wondered why they call it “writer’s block?” After all, non-writers get stumped and blocked from time to time, in whatever work they do. But writers get to name things, and, true to form, they named this universal affliction after themselves. That got me thinking about the composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Rachmaninoff reminds us that there really are two kinds of writer’s block. One is saying you don’t have any good ideas. Another is decreeing that the good ideas you have aren’t good enough.
Traditionally, I’ve been closer to the first kind than the second, though the second is gaining credibility as I write more and discover that I’m not getting any better at it. (Which is not quite true, perhaps, but I’m not yet ready to embrace the idea that I’m the worst judge of my own material.) What’s more, I am on record as considering myself to be “non-creative,” though this might be as much a shot at Richard Florida as at myself.