Many friends, lovers, mentors, therapists and colleagues have lost patience with the blocked writer in their life, and finally resorted to what I call the “Nike Intervention.” Whether it’s intoned as wise counsel, a desperate plea, an autocratic command or a contemptuous barb, the impact on writing productivity is generally neutral or negative.
Occasionally the right person at the right moment says “Just do it!” in just the right tone of voice, and the struggling writer experiences an epiphany that dissolves the blockage and releases a glorious flood of pent up words into the world. Usually, however, the writer who hears these words experiencesan inner burst of shame, sadness, hopelessness and rage. When these intense emotional states become linked to the thought of writing, it becomes even more daunting for the struggling writer to face the keyboard.
The truth is, most blocked and procrastinating writers hear the Nike Intervention many times a day, echoing inside their own heads, with no resulting increase in their daily word count. Some inner aspect of the psyche rebels against being bossed around this way. Your writing block becomes a symbol of your fight against oppression by ‘the man’, even if ‘the man’ is you.
“No one tells me what to do! Not even myself!”