Writer’s Block. It must be in the air, because I just listened to an interview with a successful author who spoke quite passionately about it.

First she said we needed to define what we really mean when we say we have “writer’s block.”

Definition 1: There’s an issue in your book that you haven’t figured out yet.

Definition 2: You don’t know what to write about .

With definition 1 your writer’s block is valid, according to this author. Every writer goes through this. You just need to be patient and move forward until you figure it out. (Note: This is generally what I’m talking about if I ever mention “writer’s block.”)

With definition 2, the author being interviewed really had no patience. “Why do you feel like you have to write if you don’t have anything to say?” She asked. There are so many who have dozen of ideas and are struggling just to find the time.

At first I completely agreed with her. Yes! Give me a break! I’m struggling just to get five-hundred words in and that’s just for one idea! I have a dozen more just screaming to be put on paper.

But then I had to stop and look back at my very beginnings. I wasn’t pounding my brain trying to find something to write about but neither did anything I wrote really inspire me to believe I “had something to say.” Most of what I wrote in my beginning stages was ho-hum, (as I’m sure is the case with many writers in their humble beginnings, even if they don’t care to admit it.)

And that’s because, once again, it’s not so much the idea as the execution of the idea. Everyone has something to say, they just might not be confident that they can articulate it in a powerful way. And guess what? The only way you’re going to get better at the craft is to write. Write, write, and rewrite.

Your best idea will come after a million words.*

So what’s your take on writer’s block, or creativity blocks in general? Myth? Whining? Totally not your problem?

*I think that’s a quote by some famous writer, but I googled it ten different ways and came up with nothing, so if you know who said it, let me know.


2 comments

  1. I like to read other people’s stuff and it gives me ideas. Commenting seems like a bodaciously lazy way to juice my creative mind grapes, but it’s what I’ve got right now.
    I really need to eat some breakfast.

  2. Also, I had a funny experience yesterday. I was finishing my run on the treadmill and getting that “All I want is to slow down right now but I promised myself I would stay at this speed for a full fifteen minutes” feeling. So I decided to distract myself for the last minute or two by thinking in “stream of consciousness” while watching “Dirty Jobs” on Discovery channel. My thoughts wandered WILDLY. I was amazed at how many wacky but interesting ideas fluttered like hummingbird wings in my brain as I struggled to move my legs, maintaining my willpower.

    So maybe exercising and watching Mike Rowe examine bloodsucking worms might help you generate innovative ideas.

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