Have you ever wondered why some people seem to write as if powerless to stop themselves, while others struggle slowly and painfully with the process of writing?
If writing amounts to an irresistible urge for you, a veritable lust for penning words and stories, you probably enjoy the process. There’s no need to worry about your over-the-top desire to write. Even if the words don’t always make much sense, you are creating a mountain of raw material that can be refined later.
Some people write so much that their journals are actually minute-by-minute descriptions of their lives, sometimes amassing millions of words, tens of thousands of notebooks. Here’s an example from Wikipedia:
The Reverend Robert Shields maintained a diary chronicling every 5 minutes of his life from 1972 until a stroke disabled him in 1997. The hypergraphic work filled 81 boxes and contained approximately 38 million words.
Hypergraphia is the technical term for this kind of writing. It’s thought Client Note Keeper that the condition results from an abnormal interaction between the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain. The word, ‘abnormal,’ should not be interpreted negatively, in this case, since the rare people who are diagnosed with hypergraphia don’t see it as a problem.
And what about the opposite condition, in which communicating through writing is intensely difficult and the writer feels devoid of ideas?
The most notable example of this in modern literary history was Henry Roth’s writer’s block which persisted for sixty years and was caused by a combination of depression, political problems, and unwillingness to confront past problems.
Unless they’re hypergraphic, just about all journalists and other writers descend into the maddening pit of writer’s block at one point or another. Scientists suggest that a different mental state – bipolar depression – can trigger writer’s block. Those of us not afflicted by this psychological disorder may nonetheless relate to it when we suffer blockage. Last week you were brimming over with writing ideas; this week, you’re unexplainably empty.
Though writer’s block can seem deadly, it’s actually an opportunity and something to be appreciated, just like hypergraphia. It may have something to do with the physical state of the brain, but it’s certainly connected to the state of the mind. If the mind seems frozen, it’s an invitation to change and grow.
Many writers break through blocks simply by writing about being blocked. Here are a few other ideas:
· Stream of consciousness writing. Don’t try to make sense.
· Boldly confront your paralyzing Inner Critic. Challenge it to a duel!
· Write a letter to your Inner Writer. Listen carefully to its response.
· Change up your routines, whether they involve your writing, your journaling, your physical exercise, your leisure activities, or whatever. When you shake up your daily habits, you clear the mind, making it freshly susceptible to inspiration.