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Are some people, either due to lack of world experience, or creative talent, incapable of forming content for their writing, even for basic practice?

If not, what would cause them such trouble when trying to write, and how can they resolve the problem?

  • writer blocks do happen. I know for myself, I managed to write a few chapters and even though I know how I want it to progress, I am at a lack of words or energy to write my next chapter. – ggiaquin16 Sep 27 '17 at 20:21
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    I don't see why it can't be true. I don't feel any need ever to scuba dive. Doesn't matter that scuba divers enjoy it. – DPT Sep 27 '17 at 20:49
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    You could write about having nothing to write about. – eyeballfrog Sep 27 '17 at 22:31
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    I think you have made excellent progress on making your question clearer. I would like to see one more thing clarified before it is reopened. What do you mean by "writing" in this context. Do you mean literally incapable of putting words on paper, or do you mean unable to write anything good enough to be publishable, or something in between those two extremes? In other words, what is your standard for generating an idea? – user16226 Sep 28 '17 at 11:25
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    Yes, some are incapable, some are simply not creative or imaginative. They can consume fiction, but think entirely in clichés and stories they have heard before, their "original" ideas consist of having existing fictional characters say or do something they wish they had said or done. Some people are locked up by their stereotypes and memory and lack imagination, period. That said, if you are trying to write, you probably aren't one of them! Try practice writing, write a story, for yourself only, about a fictional char you make up, but doing something unusual you actually did IRL. – Amadeus-Reinstate-Monica Sep 28 '17 at 11:25
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The term writing is kind of like the word walking, except that writing gets used as a collective term in a way that walking does not. Lots of people walk as a major part of their jobs: letter carriers, police, floor salespeople, soldiers, etc. We don't refer to them collectively as "walkers". We reserve the term "walker" for people who walk solely for pleasure or exercise, without any productive component to it. In other words, we use it to describe walking that produces no social good beyond the enjoyment of the walker.

We don't use the word "writer" that way. We commonly use it as a collective to refer to novelists, technical writers, marketing writers, journalists, etc. This is exactly how this site uses the word in its name. The thing that all these different "writers" have in common is that they are attempting to produce some social good beyond the pleasure they may take in writing as an activity in its own right.

In fact, many writers say they dislike the actual writing part and find it painful. Dorothy Parker said that she hated writing but loved having written. Which is a Dorothy Parker way of saying that the value was not in the act but in the social value produced by the act.

There are some people, however, who seem to take pleasure in the act of writing itself, and some who practice it independent of any desire to produce a social good (a salable novel or piece of journalism, for instance). But this seems to me to be rare. Most writers, even if they are not good enough to produce anything that constitutes a genuine social good, at least want to produce one. Thus the act of writing aims at something beyond itself: a fully realized story or essay that conveys a real experience or argument to another person.

In other words, they are driven not by the desire to write per se, but by the need to say something to the world at large, to tell a story that is both worth telling and that the world wants to hear.

Most people, however, have no such desire. They don't have a story that is burning in their gut demanding to be told. (It may be that everyone has a story, but it is a myth that every story is burning to be expressed.)

Writers block is not an inability to write. It is a lack of anything to say. Having nothing to say may be temporary or permanent, but it is not a problem to be fixed, nor a problem that can be fixed. Writing is just a means to quench the need to express what you have seen. If you have the need, the words will come. If you don't have the need, they probably won't. (If you are a writer under contract with a deadline, of course, you do need to fix the problem of having nothing to say, which many writers apparently fix by saying the same thing over and over again in different words.)

It is true that some people seem to feel the need to say something to the world, as a way, presumably, to be noticed and acknowledged by the world. But that desire does not translate into actually having something to say, and it won't make the words come if they don't come naturally. In particular, it does not produce words anyone else finds worth reading, meaning it does not achieve its intended purpose. The better approach here is to find some other way to make the world take notice of you. (Hopefully a productive one.)

In short, the words will come from the sheer joy or making words or from the burning need to communicate what you have seen and believe. Forcing the words when the process is neither joyful not expurgatory is not likely to produce either satisfaction or a social good.

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