Skip to Content

The dreaded writer’s block

18 July 2014

‘It was terrifying. I thought: "That's it, I only have 12 books in me." I was so sufficiently ill with it that I had to go to a doctor. For six months I couldn't write and I didn't tell anyone. It wasn't that I didn't know what to write, it was that I couldn't get the damn thing out. In the end, I literally pulled myself down to the library, sat there and dragged it out word after word. I didn't plan it, I started on chapter one and just saw where it went.

I don't know why this one was so problematic. Prior to this, if someone talked about writer's block I wouldn't believe it. I thought it was more an excuse for authors who were feeling uninspired or lazy... When I read it back there were parts I don't even remember writing, I must have been in the zone.

I am nervous because I don't want to feel the way I felt in my last book... I remember being sat at my table thinking I was going to throw up. When I couldn't write for six months I thought: "What am I going to do? All I can do is write and now I can't do it anymore." However at the moment I am toying between two books, which one to do first. I often get struck by a thought which will turn into: "Bingo - there is a book!"

Freya North, author of 13 novels, most recently The Way Back Home, in the Bookseller