Coping with writer’s block: Would seeing a psychiatrist help?

By Jack Limpert

While editing the Washingtonian, a monthly magazine, I saw a lot of writer’s block and missed deadlines. The most serious case was a writer—very smart and well-educated—who was great when he could meet deadlines but he increasingly froze up for weeks at a time. He knew it couldn’t go on so decided to see a psychiatrist.

A month or so later, he came in and said, “Jack, we’ve figured it out. It’s either fear of success or fear of failure.”

There was a happy ending—he found jobs in daily and weekly journalism where he didn’t have so much time to think.

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