Friday, July 22, 2011

The Funniest Thing About...

The funniest thing about writer’s block is that so much has been written about it. A quick Google search for the term yielded 10,700,000 articles. That’s a lot of words to describe a lack of words! 

Although some of the articles simply describe the wretched condition, the overwhelming majority of them offer advice on how to overcome writer’s block. Like cures for hiccups, there are many remedies that are varied and creative. But, also like cures for hiccups, their effectiveness is debatable. Some suggest writing grocery lists to get the creative juices flowing, some suggest drawing pictures to tempt the muses, others recommend getting up and going for a hike to clear those mental cobwebs.

 My personal favorite remedy is to just tackle the problem head on. Just sit and write, “I have writer’s block because…” and let it all out. Exorcise those demons of self doubt, mental fatigue, work or family pressures, etc. The very things that are causing you writer’s block may actually be a good source of material for the characters you create. Of course, if none of these strategies work for you, you can always go to Barnes and Noble and buy one of the 124 titles they have on the subject – or one of the 357 titles available on Amazon. 

And if all else fails, take comfort in this bit of wisdom that American poet William Stafford offered his students: “There is no such thing as writer’s block for writers whose standards are low enough.”

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