Letters of Youth


/ 4 November 2020

Classes have just started. You have an essay about the current pandemic to be submitted in a couple of days. Since you do not want to cram your work, again, you started working with your assignment. You opened your computer, then clicked Word. Once the main menu popped, you chose the blank document. You stare at your blank Word File, thinking what to type.



Hours have passed. You still have not written anything on that blank canvas of yours. This feeling of not writing anything now gets into your nerve. You started lightly hitting your head with both hands, hoping that the brain cells can, at least, squeeze out ideas so that you can now start writing.

Nothing came out. Moments later, you are now frustrated, far from being enthusiastic hours ago to not cram your work. You turned off your computer and just went to bed.

Let’s be honest, having a writer’s block is annoying. And I am almost certain that everyone, especially students, may have experienced this kind of feeling. They fear that having a writer’s block as a reason for creating a subpar work may anger their professors, hence, giving them a failing mark.

Sometimes, I thought to myself if this was, indeed, a valid explanation of why we, students, feel this way. Surprisingly, it is. And it goes way, way back.

In an article entitled, “Writer’s Block” from the American Journal of Neuroradiology, the term “writer’s block” was coined by famous Austrian psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Edmund Bergler in 1947. Additionally, in the journal “American Imago” published by John Hopkins University Press, Bergler briefly explained that this phenomenon “denotes neurotic inhibition of productivity in creative writers.”

As I read further about writer’s block, I came across this term called “Blank Page Syndrome,” which, perhaps, simplifies Bergler’s explanation.

According to Her Campus, Blank Page Syndrome is a sensation, varying in intensity, that plagues most students. Primarily, it is associated with lacking inspiration or ideas in developing and producing one’s work. Notable causes of this syndrome include:

  1. Lack of Energy
  2. Stress
  3. Isolation
  4. Lack of Interest
  5. Environment

Indeed, having a writer’s block is more than just a mentality, as opposed to what students’ fear. While it depends on certain instances, this reasoning is valid, especially in recent times where we are confined at the four walls of our homes instead of our classrooms. At this point in our lives, the five causes indicated were a mixture to create this concoction of uneasiness that is injected to us, who just wanted to let ideas flow from our minds to our blank pages.

However, the shining light above this struggle is that there are ways on how you can cope up with this. Searching up on the internet can suggest what’s the best and most effective for you. Additionally, hearing stories from others who coped up with having a writer’s block can help you see a perspective that can, perhaps, guide you in creating your way to combat this.

At the end of the day, the writer’s block should not be shrugged and disregarded. It is valid and it is okay to experience this. Whether it is at its lowest intensity or higher peak, do know that you can overcome having writer’s block. Because once something flickered, and ideas started flowing, writing makes it worth it.


“Writing eases my suffering. Writing is my way of reaffirming my own existence.”

                                                                                                                                                              Gao Xingjian