Magazine May 23, 2016, Issue

Wordsmiths without Words

(Phil Ashley/Getty Images)
Examining the nature of writer’s block.

‘The first point about writer’s block is that relatively little has been written about it.” That’s the second sentence of the introduction to a 1991 book by Zachary Leader called — wait for it — “Writer’s Block.” The claim makes sense: The writers who might say the most about block are the ones who have the hardest time saying anything at all. They’re like singers without voices. The rest of us have no idea what we’re missing in the silence.

I became interested in writer’s block last fall — not because it had afflicted me (knock on wood), but because I

To Read the Full Story
John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Politics & Policy


THE SS NORMANDIE Confiscated from Vichy France, she sat In the Hudson for months until the fire. The smoke was so thick over midtown, rumors Spread the Japanese had attacked New York. The old transatlantic ...
Politics & Policy


The Apartment of Labor Scott Lincicome’s comprehensive and illuminating article “The Truth about Trade” (April 11) describes several government policies that have acted to exacerbate current labor-market inefficiencies. One could speculate ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ As Abraham Lincoln said, “You’re fired.” ‐ Protesters, many of them riotous, dogged Donald Trump in southern California. In Costa Mesa, they blocked an interstate, threw debris at passing cars, ...


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