Yes, it’s real. Yes, we all get it from time to time. It can strike at any moment, and last for hours, weeks, or even (gasp) months.
It does not make you a bad person or even a bad writer. You can start and stop, in spite of what some “experts” say, whenever you want. However, the longer you wait to start again, the harder it could become.
How do you cure it?
That depends on the kind of writing you’re doing. If you’re stuck for ideas, surf the Web. Read a book, preferably not in your genre—don’t want to plagiarize after all, or even come close. Read some blogs. Get up and do something physical, whether it’s exercise or cleaning the house or running errands. Let your subconscious do the work for a while.
For myself, I skip to the end of the manuscript and write the ending. That way, at least, I’ll know where I’m going with the rest of the book. Once, I got a little carried away and after I wrote the epi, I did “Last Chapter,” and then “Second to Last Chapter,” and about halfway through the “Third to Last Chapter,” I got a grip on myself and went back to the beginning.
Have to say, I’ve never heard of writing an entire book backwards!
Sometimes, though, the words just won’t come. You’re stuck. You’re dead in the water. Then what?
Write something. A grocery list. A packing list. A chore list. A long status update or comment on social media. Or a blog post.
You have to. You’re a writer, and if you don’t write something, you lose your momentum. Something, anything with words. The ideas, the write order of the words, those will come eventually, as long as you keep doing some kind of writing.