For about six months I went through what my Literature teacher described as a "writing coma." After deciding that the computer was the root of all my social problems, my mother limited me to an hour of computer time a day; suddenly, without the joyous prospect of writing for two or three or five hours at a time, my creativity waned. For those six months I wrote almost nothing, and certainly nothing good, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't want to write. My life felt almost meaningless, and I nearly slipped into bouts of angst.

Fortunately, I'm a lousy poet.

At one point, not even a month ago, a girl in my Latin class learned I was a writer. She didn't strike me as extremely mature, and she proved this when she went on a fierce vendetta, convinced that I simply could not be as good a writer as she (neither of us had read the work of the other). She told me about her mother, who didn't let her do much of anything, socially speaking, and that because of her incarcerating mother her writing was very important to her, as if that somehow makes her a better writer. Typical angst attitude.

But then I was struck by the horrible thought that maybe I really wasn't a writer; maybe I never had been. It had been months since I had written anything productive, and those months had been among the most boring and pointless of my life.

My second fear was that, having written nothing for so long, my ability would fade like an atrophied muscle. That fear haunted me for some time as I considered the possibility of writing like a fourth-grader all over again, starting again at the bottom of my ladder of improvement (as you can see, I'm still working on my skill with metaphors).

Don't worry; I'll get to a wider subject than "me" in a moment.

My Lit teacher said that in his experience, the end of a so-called "writing coma" would be marked by a sudden surge of new ideas, creativity perhaps beyond what the writer had experienced before. As the months wore on, I was sure this wouldn't occur. I continued to attend my teacher's creative writing meetings every Friday, and I could typically muster a page or two during the ten minutes of free-writing at every meeting. Occasionally my teacher would say, "That might be a good start for a whole story," and I would agree; but upon arriving home, I couldn't bring myself to actually write a whole story.

Then that all changed. My writing coma ended, and I felt not only a surge of creativity, but a desire to write that I had never felt in all my memory. For the first time in months, I looked forward to getting home every day, knowing that I could spend a good portion of the day writing. Now, for the first time in my life, I truly and honestly feel like a writer.

The experience gave me a new perspective on my writing, and on creativity in general. A few of my revelations, many of which may be apparent to you, are conveniently compiled below.

1. We all have writer's block. It happens. Don't fight it, but don't just give up either. What I'm trying to say, I suppose, is just to keep writing, and if it's crap, don't worry too much.

2. Writer's block makes us better writers. Just as jumping hurdles makes the flat parts of the track look much better (and less leg-hurting), obstacles along our endless journey as writers make the smooth parts of the ride that much more enjoyable.

3. Microsoft Word's formatting sucks sometimes. Deal with it.

With the writing coma behind me, I'm now ready to continue my progression as a writer, always improving, never satisfied with being good, great, or excellent. For a true writer, there is no ceiling, no point where he feels he is as good as he need be.

I wrote this in the hope that other writers who experience extended writer's blocks – writer's comas, if you will – can remember to stick it out, not to get too down in the dumps, and to remember something: you're a writer, even when you're not writing. It's part of who you are, and that won't change. There is no permanent writer's block.