Fa­mous cases of writer’s block

From the Coen broth­ers to Stephen King

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - COVER STORY -

Film mak­ers the Coen broth­ers were stumped by writer’s block while work­ing on Miller’s Cross­ing and de­cided to spend three weeks “wash­ing out their mind”. They used the time to write Bart on Fink, a story of a screen writer suf­fer­ing from writer’s block.

After his pro­lific 20s, at32, poet Sa­muel Tay­lor Co­leridge wrote, “So com­pletely has a whole year passed, with scarcely the fruits of a month–O Sor­row and Shame... I have done noth­ing! ”He spent the rest of his life en­slaved by an opium ad­dic­tion. The New Yorker’s Joseph Mitchell was con­sid-- ered one of the world’s finest non-fic­tion writ­ers un­til the pub­li­ca­tion of his great­est piece Joe Gould’s Se­cret in1964. He came to the of­fice ev­ery­day for the next 32 years with­out fil­ing an­other word. Speak­ing about writer’s blockin 2006, Stephen King (be­low) said: “Some writ­ers in the throes of writer’s block think their muses have died, but I don’t think that hap­pens of­ten; I think what hap­pens is that the writ­ers them­selves sow the edges of their clear­ing with poi­son bait to keep their muses away, of­ten with­out know­ing they are do­ing it.”

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