The debilitating condition known as writer’s block is usually associated with 20th-century poets and eccentric authors of timeless novels, but creatives aren't the only ones who find themselves facing the block.
Thanks to the relentless demand for reporting and analysis, the scientific method also happens to include an enormous amount of writing, and in 1974, US-based clinical psychologist, Dennis Upper, experienced first-hand what it's like when writer’s block rears its ugly head against a scientist .
That year, the distinguished Journal of Applied Behavioural Analysis published the shortest scientific paper ever, entitled "The Unsuccessful Self-Treatment of a Case of 'Writer’s Block'", containing (don’t fall off your chair) no words whatsoever.
Finding himself wracked with an utter lack of words, Upper attempted a resourceful experiment: to combat writer’s block by writing about it. Unfortunately, his experiment failed, but as any good scientist knows, no results are results all the same, and the paper was published.
It was hailed as an easy read in comparison to Upper’s previous scientific papers, and the accompanying review varified the word-count beyond a doubt: "I have studied this manuscript very carefully with lemon juice and X-rays and have not detected a single flaw in either design or writing style. I suggest it be published without revision."
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