Monday, October 19, 2009

How to get over writer's block - according to me.

I am learning that someone who identifies themself as a writer must just write. I have heard it said before and just like other sensible things like "plan ahead" and "wake up early" folks like me don't really get why until we do it.

When writing is what satisfies and fulfills you it is the act that matters more than what it produces. I expect when you are getting a pay check in exchange for the final product the weight of importance shifts some but I think, really, it has to be for the act if it is going to stay satisfying.

It is easy to get caught up in what you want to write, what you think you should write and what others think you should or can write. That, in my opinion, is when writer's block begins - the moment when you are no longer writing to write. At that point you start editing before you even put down the first word. You are choosing what is good and bad before it has even been created.

I did a writer's workshop some time ago with an amazing Canadian writer, Ivan Coyote, and the message was just that - write; just write. Do it often and do it without editing anything until later because the writer's ... what would you call it? Mojo? Muse? It's a muscle that needs to be exercised and the only way to keep it agile is through regular use.

So, how do you fight writer's block? You write. You barf out all the debris that has been clogging the conduit and stretch that scribbler's limb and eventually you get to the place where you are executing wordy triple back flips and if you keep at it maybe someday levitating.

So for anyone out there who wishes they were writing but are not, the answer is very zen; let it all go and just write. The rest will follow.

No comments: