Writer’s Block

Meaning of Idiom ‘Writer’s Block’

When someone has writer’s block, it means they are temporarily unable to think of something to write; something in the mind that acts as a ‘mental block’ preventing a writer from creating a new piece of writing. 1Walter, Elizabeth. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007.,2Spears, Richard A.  McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.

Usage

Writer’s block is sometimes used to describe a quasi-psychological condition in which a writer is unable to come up with new ideas or lacks inspiration, but usually, it is simply an expression and does not describe any specific mental condition or process which prevents one from producing written content. When someone says “I have writer’s block” it means only that they are unable to think of writing topics or ideas.

Examples Of Use

“I really need to update my website but I have writer’s block right now.”

“As a professional journalist with deadlines to meet, he couldn’t afford to have writer’s block.”

“The best way to cure writer’s block is to just start writing whatever comes to mind.”

Origin

Used since at least 1950.

Block, in this idiom, is used in the sense of an obstacle or impediment.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Walter, Elizabeth. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007.
2. Spears, Richard A.  McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.