The Internet is full of bad advice (mostly quotes) from famous and accomplished writers on writer’s block.
Most of it talk about the condition without really offering workable solutions.
The worst is the advice or observation offered by those who don’t or didn’t face writer’s block. These two cents are as annoying as the advice offered by those facing writer’s block but have no urgency to beat the demon.
The advice goes something like this: “I faced writer’s block for three months. I couldn’t write a word. I did nothing and just went fishing and driving around. Then I sat down and I suddenly could write.”
Doesn’t offer anything useful to a writer who’s blocked and has to get out of it immediately.
Here’s a bad piece of advice by Maya Angelou : “I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe her. A writer of her stature could only manage ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat’ for two weeks? Even a lesser writer would have managed to write something more than that.
Alright, enough of annoying, bad advice from famous writers.
Here is some advice that makes sense and offers you a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. Keep them in mind the next time you suffer from the so-called ‘unbeatable’ writer’s block.
“The simplest way to overcome this is to write it to someone, like me. Write it as a letter aimed at one person. This removes the vague terror of addressing the large and faceless audience and it also, you will find, will give a sense of freedom and a lack of self-consciousness.”John Steinbeck
Do you often think of the dozens of persons you have to please through your writing? Does that cause what the writing world calls writer’s block?
Just bring one person you know to mind. Someone who’s a symphatetic listener. Someone who believes in your ideas.
Write to that person. If you think what you’ll be writing will make sense to him or her, then it will to hundreds or thousands out there.
“The only way out was to go forward, to learn your way and write your way out of it.”John McPhee
Going forward means skipping the parts that that don’t come to you. Whether you’re writing a novel or an article. there will be parts that offers you easier entry into the page. Write those parts while waiting for the ‘blocked parts’ to gain entry.
Of course you’ll feel guilty because you’re not writing the way your English teachers or college professors taught you. But who cares? They aren’t here to help you now. You gotta find your own way, Bro, even if you’ve play dirty.
But then again why bang your head against a stone wall when you can easily step on a sand castle?
“You can always write something. You write limericks. You write a love letter. You do something to get you in the habit of writing again, to bring back the desire.”Erskine caldwell
If the novel you’re writing isn’t moving, then why not turn your sights on some short stories you’ve been intending to write? Not the ideal package. But you got to be realistic, Sis. A burger would do when you can’t have a 5-course dinner.
Yes, the name of the game is settling for less. Even if you aren’t moving ahead with your pet project, you’ll win yourself some valuable writing practice, working on a low-priority task.
Wouldn’t that be hundred times better than moping and complaining you’ve writers block?