The Devil’s Journal, Choice and Writer’s Block

Choice and Writer's Block

Thursday, April 7, 2022. 27 Minutes past 2:00

Lacking the will to write these last few weeks isn’t a reflection of the need to do it, nor is it about indifference towards the issues I want to affect. On the contrary, it results from the contemplation of having too much to say. 

This apparent lassitude you’ve seen from me demonstrates the debilitating effects of the paradox of choice. I want to write, and having to choose from a vast array of obscenely critical ideas paralyses me. 

The Devil's Journal, Choice and Writer's Block
Writer’s Block

I know how incoherent my declaration of impotence may read; the Devil should be immune to human ailments, but I’m not.  

Like Bergler’s syndrome, what most of you call writer’s block, arises from having too many options to think about. It is the inability to gauge the utility of the choices available to us. 

I wrote about choice and utility in a different page.

But that last paragraph strikes me as a clear avoidance strategy; it is easier to remain still than to face the cognitive load of expanding on notions that deserve critical respect. 

I don’t presume to have a cure for this problem, and I can’t even promise to write more often. I can only pose myself the challenge to push through the depressive idleness I’ve indulged in these last few weeks. 

Let me say that I will challenge this state of quiescence by writing about any idea that enters my mind.  

It is time, after all, to treat this diary properly – to use the true extent of its power to help me learn more about the world I intend to change. 

“I can only reiterate my opinion that the superego is the real master of the personality, that psychic masochism constitutes the most dangerous countermeasure of the unconscious ego against the superego’s tyranny, that psychic masochism is ‘the life-blood of neurosis’ and is in fact the basic neurosis. I still subscribe to my dictum, ‘Man’s inhumanity to man is equalled only by man’s inhumanity to himself.'”

Edmund Bergler

Thank you for reading.

— The Devil Unbound

Leave a Reply