Authors with a mortgage never get writer’s block. It is a luxury only those with an income equal to their outgoings can afford. I suspect there are other afflictions which we can indulge in only when we have the time, leisure or opportunity to do so. That is not to suggest that that the pain or difficulty they cause is unreal (I have my own weekly duel with writer’s block, so I wot whereof I speak), but the registering it, the allowing it to take centre stage, so to say, are acts within our control.
So here’s a challenge for today. What is your favourite whinge about? Is it a genuine grievance, such as Benedict meant when he talked about ‘justifiable murmuring’, or is it a covert form of self-indulgence, a little bit of armour we put on to defend ourselves against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? If you’re not sure, or unwilling to admit that it might just be a way of defending yourself against (unspoken) criticism or (as yet uncertain) failure, think again. The chains we make for ourselves are the ones that really bind.