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Pearl Cleage’s Unique Perspective on Writers Block

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

Writer's Block Confusion

Pearl Cleage, widely recognized author of both fiction and nonfiction, has a unique perspective on writers block.
Many times, what people call 'writer's block' is the confusion that happens when a writer has a great idea, but their writing skill is not up to the task of putting that idea down on paper. I think that learning the craft of writing is critical.


"Pearl Cleage (born December 7, 1948) is an African American author whose work, both fiction and non-fiction, has been widely recognized. Her novel What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day was a 1998 Oprah Book Club selection. Cleage is known for her feminist views, particularly regarding her identity as an African American woman. Cleage teaches drama at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and is the Playwright in Residence at the Alliance Theatre"…

Opinions about Writer's Block

You'll find plenty of advice about what causes writer's block, whether or not writer's block really exists, and what you can do about it.  Here are three opinions about writer's block.  

How to Overcome Writer’s Block: 14 Tricks That Work. By Jeff Goins 

Common causes of writer’s block. The reasons for your block may vary, but some common ones include:

  • Timing: It’s simply not the right time to write. Your ideas may need to stew a little longer before writing them down.
  • Fear: Many writers struggle with being afraid, with putting their ideas (and themselves) out there for everyone to see and critique. Fear is a major reason some writers never become writers.
  • Perfectionism: You want everything to be just right before you ever put pen to paper or touch a keyboard. You try to get it perfect in your head and never do, so you never begin…

Finally, a Cure for Writer's Block! Nigel Barber Ph.D. The Human Beast

Writer’s block is another way of saying that the author prefers the ideal work still locked in the imagination than what they see coming from their keyboard. It is just one case of the more general malady of having great ambitions stand in the way of concrete achievements. Fortunately both can be cured… 

Writing Tips: Strategies for Overcoming Writer's Block. The Center for Writing Studies

What Causes Writer's Block?

  • Writer's block is often caused by conflicted feelings.
  • We want the writing to be perfect and we want the paper done as soon as possible.
  • We know what we know but we don't know what our readers know.
  • We know how the memo should sound, but we don't have all the facts we need.
  • We know everything about the software, but we don't know what an article should look like.
  • We know what we have to say but we are afraid that it won't measure up to our expectations or to our readers' expectations…

Find out more about What Crazy Looks Like on an Ordinary Day

Comment by ENOTES

In What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, Pearl Cleage creates three main characters who share a common reliance on a religious, or a spiritual, practice. They each use their own individualized philosophy and ritual to help them overcome tragedies. Despite the fact that the characters’ beliefs vary as widely as their motives for observing such practices, Cleage implies that it is through such spiritual practices that the characters confront their challenges and realize an inner peace. Upon discovering this sense of tranquility, the characters are then able to step out of the blindness of their personal suffering and feel compassion for the suffering of others.

[Original Post November 12, 2014]

What are your thoughts about writer's block? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Are you experiencing writer's block? Is there something stopping you, from starting or completing your writing project? How can you figure out what is blocking you and move beyond the block? The answer is as simple as asking four questions and changing one word that you say about yourself.

The Writer’s Block and Your True Self solution is to ask yourself four simple questions and to answer them honestly, willing to discover the real reason you feel blocked. You will probably be very surprised when you discover what is really blocking you.

Available on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback versions. Click Buy Now From Amazon to get your copy now.

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