Unblocking the Block
In my new book on overcoming writer’s block,(which will be released as soon as I figure out how to fill three hundred pages,) I detail the secret techniques that I have used for well over five minutes. In the meantime, however, here are some tips to get you back on track.
The first thing I suggest is that you write what you know. If you don’t know anything, write something else.
Begin each day by reading what you wrote yesterday. This is very beneficial, as it will either remind you how talented you are, or that you might be better off as a hat salesman.
Affirmations are always useful. Repeat,“I am a great writer,” to yourself over and over again. Try to believe it even though you’ve been rejected three hundred and four times with your hilariously funny piece on warts.
Self-esteem is all-important. Think of yourself as a damn good author, even though the extent of your literary output is “get eggs, milk and cheese.”
If after several hours of work all you’ve written are two semi-colons and a comma, be proud of your accomplishment. Just don’t spend too much time trying to market it.
Do something different. Write the beginning last and the ending first. Just keep in mind that you editor may get irritated when he has to read your work standing on his head.
To enhance the functioning of your creative brain, use yoga while you write. Twist your body so that your right side is toward the computer. Then with your left hand reach over and operate the mouse as you cross your legs together. Use your experiences to write a tell-all book about the life of a pretzel.
Be open to criticism. If someone informs you that your story put them to sleep, don’t feel bad -- even though it is only nine words long.
Sometimes it helps to involve the simplicity of a child’s mind. Find a three year old and tell him your story. If he says you’re work is highly derivative of War and Peace and The Great Gatsby, take away his pampers.
Visualize your career. There are three steps to this. 1) See yourself being successful as a writer. 2) Notice where you are now. 3) Weep.
If your confidence is shaky, ask someone very dumb to read your work. Just be aware that “liked dem words,” may not be the kind of endorsement you want on the back cover of your novel.
It often helps to get up in the morning and write down the first words that come to mind. You never know, “must pea” may be the coffee table book of the decade.
Remember writing that you find the most fun will connect with your readers best. Even if it’s about tuna in a can that yearns to be set free.
Hope these pearls of wisdom have helped you move your writing forward. If not, remember, they’re always looking for a good hat salesman.