A situation where a person becomes speechless and unable to describe his condition, which he deals with recklessly at first, then with a slight anxiety that grows stronger over time, then by lying to oneself, then immobility that resembles the stiffness of a corpse, then death and surrender to that death after all attempts to break this block or overcome it have failed.
The symptoms of this block are not limited to young writers, as was the case with my Wajdy, and how it affected me one day when I was a young writer 30 years ago.
They also affect great writers who have been writing their whole lives and suddenly stopped. It's like a train that travels through the wild indifferently, proud of its strength and endurance, and suddenly breaks down, rendering it useless.
If help doesn't arrive within a few hours, the passengers will start to become restless and then experience strange psychological distress, of which they know neither the cause nor remedy. In an effort to save their lives, they will turn into monsters.
It is difficult to count all those affected by this block, but dozens of writers face this problem in all its forms and manifestations, and some of them stopped writing altogether; the reasons given in their cases are merely speculations, expectations and inadequate judgments to diagnose their cases.
Among some famous writers plagued by this disease is the great American writer J.D. Salinger (1919-2010), whose 1951 novel "The Catcher in the Rye" brought him great literary acclaim and fame. After that, he published three novels and short stories, then stopped publishing altogether in 1965, choosing a life of total isolation, which he strongly defended.
We also recall the great German writer Günter Grass (1927-2015), who stopped writing many times, returning to painting and sculpture as his primary speciality. Still, he always came back with an important novel. Eventually, he decided to stop writing because he fell ill and died.
If we were to count the instances of creators hit by temporary and permanent writer's block, we would never stop. Because I think it affects everyone related to the writing profession and we cannot count its causes or treatments.
Psychiatrists view this condition as a temporary or permanent psychological disorder that affects creators in general, not just writers.
They cast a larger net and talk about the painter's, photographer's and artist's block in general. They provide treatment assistance in the manner in which they approach other psychological crises related to the pressures of work.
They offer suggestions such as relaxation, getting away from sources of noise, swimming and jogging, walks in a forest and countless general prescriptions suitable for all diseases.
These treatments are ineffective in my opinion as a former patient because each writer's diagnosis is unique, and as a result, each writer's treatment is determined by the writer himself. It's a creativity problem, not a technical one.
Some writers were able to heal themselves and come back stronger, turning adversity into an opportunity to reflect on their achievements. Some writers came back with subpar works not worthy of their reputation or talent, while others stopped writing altogether.