News reports about Swine Flu in Mexico now spreading throughout North America have many nerves on edge. There is talk of an impending pandemic. Fatalities have occurred in Mexico City but elsewhere the strain is apparently much milder. Still, bulletins are being circulated about how to minimize the risk of contagion and what to do if symptoms appear.
I was reading one of clinical psychologist Dr. Steven Hendlin’s articles about writer’s block as the television news droned on in the background and for whatever reason my mind began to see comparisons between the two afflictions.
I find Dr. Hendlin’s comments enlightening. I’ve always been a little skeptical about the existence of writer’s block but for him there is no question that it is a reality. He calls it a clinical syndrome and suggests many creative people other than writers experience similar blockages that prevent them from performing. Not everyone is immobilized; some work their way through milder bouts; others are never attacked at all.
I don’t mean to make light of the seriousness of the Flu outbreak. But one thing Swine Flu and Writer’s Block have in common is the need to be prepared. Acknowledge that it’s out there and take precautions to minimize it should you be affected.
“Any author laboring for months or years to write a book learns that passion and dispassion, like waves in the ocean, come and go in phases. You learn to discipline yourself to hang in there and keep writing even when your wave of passion has receded and your emotional surf is flat.”
Seems like good advice to me.