Writer's Block: Myth or Real
There are writers who don't believe in writer's block. I used to be one of them. Even wrote a poem about it. You can find it on my original works page. Over the past eighteen months I have had the good fortune of being accepted into not one but two MFA Creative Writing Programs. In the Fall of 2015 I entered the University of Baltimore (UB) Creative Writing and Publishing Arts Program. I was just two weeks in when I realized what I had experienced over the years as writer's block didn't mean I was helplessly blocked. Under the tutelage of my amazing instructors and some brilliant writers I quickly learned that what I needed to do was to keep at it. I needed to keep writing. I needed to keep practicing my craft until I found that the next beautiful word, significant phrase or appropriate arc was looking up from the page at me. It is inevitable. When we keep writing "it" will come. Turning the corner on a piece that has frustrated us and halted the flow is by far one of the greatest feelings ever!!!
After two semesters at UB I transferred to the Goucher College Creative Nonfiction Program. I transferred knowing I needed something more, something different. I was not quite sure what that something was. Plus a health scare made me think that online studies would work better for me. I was thrilled to find that Goucher was not offering me a classic online studies curriculum. Instead the program has an intensive thesis focused component. This was just what I needed.
When I landed on campus for my first ten day residency (these are offered biannually), I realized I had come to a juncture where I wanted more of a challenge in my writing. Let me be clear here. There is absolutely no way I could have held my literary own at Goucher had it not been for the indispensable preparation I received at UB. Was I ever glad I studied under Marion Winik and Betsy Boyd. These two women encouraged me and pushed me to places in my writing as well as in myself as a writer that I had not known were there.
At Goucher first semester students are expected to hit the ground running toward a thesis. The 6-8 pages I bought to residency were work shopped by my mentor and five fellow student writers. There is no room for the proverbial writer's block here. Am I ever glad I had passed the point of thinking that it was par for the course to be helplessly blocked. I no longer feel I have to jump through hoops when I can't seem to find my way through a piece. Instead I do what writers are wont to do. Iread my way back into the piece or I can write my way back into it. It works every time.