Procrastination and Blocking: A Novel, Practical Approach

By Robert Boice | Go to book overview

2
The Traditional Amiable View of Procrastination and Blocking

Amiable excuses for procrastination and blocking go back at least to Dr. Samuel Johnson: "Every man is, or hopes to be, an idler." G. A. Kimble ( 1979), the authority on departmental leadership in universities, light-heartedly advises chairpeople to leave correspondence unopened until its business takes care of itself And so on.

Exotic and dismissable reasons for PB may be just as traditional. E. Bergler ( 1950), the first to use the label writing blocks, analyzed them as a symbolic refusal of mother's milk. His views, including an equation of writing with neurosis, serve today as little more than examples of extreme positions on PB that few people take seriously. For example:

The creative writer is also masochistic, but his elaboration on the basic conflict differs from the non-creative masochist in that it results in productivity. He acts, unconsciously, both roles--that of the corrected giving mother and the recipient child. By giving himself out of himself beautiful words and ideas, he "proves" conclusively: It is not true that I wanted masochistically to be refused by Mother (milk, love, kindness). The opposite is true: I wanted to get-and lavishly, for that matter. . . . (p. 69)

Why is vomiting (directly or in different disguises, for instance, "upset stomach") so often encountered in sterile writers when they try to outsmart their writing block? Psychogenically induced vomiting is a psycho

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