Two great armies meet. From opposing vantage points their numbers eye each other, weighing an infinite variety of tactics and strategies. There is palpable fear — not of death or destruction, but something much more petrifying: the unknown. And that’s because the scale of the battle to come is just too vast to comprehend, the outcome too uncertain.
So, despite their heroism and undeniable courage and force of arms, they never move. They just stare at each other across the blank space, and wait.
This is the battleground of creative ideas. The impasse that the armies have reached is sometimes given a kinder name: ‘writer’s block’. But it’s worse than that, because while it suggests something that can be removed with sufficient effort, the phrase fails to capture the fear, the sense of panic, that can often freeze writers in their steps.
And once frozen, writers tend to just stop moving. Procrastination leads to, well, further procrastination. Yet all it would take would be something — anything — to break the wall, the stare, the silence. A change of direction, some distraction: a bird flying overhead, or the unlikely flicker of a smile. Or a change of scale: a tiny speck of an insect, or the cataclysm of an earthquake. Or something more surreal. A kangaroo, a TV host, a rice cake. And with that unexpected twist comes an avalanche of ideas.
But here’s the thing. Fresh ideas aren’t going to operate on their own: they may have their own propulsion, but now they need some kind of structure, some plan of attack. In ancient days, armies looked for direction from the general, the ‘strategos’, (from which we get ‘strategy’ and ‘strategic’). It turns out that writers, just like armies, need a strategy to select the best ideas and marshal them into some kind of order, before they can be really effective.
English Wanted can’t help with writer’s block. But we can advise on the strategic direction of your manuscript, web content, research paper. Whatever kind of English you need, contact us – we’ll help you win the battle.