Writer’s Block, Pervasive Myth

Writer’s block? I do not think these words mean what you think they mean.

Our heroine will accept that there is Writer’s Pause, dear Reader. A short period during which the writer is overwhelmed with “what happens next” or “how do I get out of THIS one?” But Writer’s Block? Not a chance.

Writing begets writing. Build some momentum. Get in there, perhaps not even on your project, and write something, anything, ridiculous things, what you ate that day and why, whether an elephant would look better in fishnet stockings and who’d try to get them on him in the first place. Okay, maybe not that last one. The again, that might be fun.

Remember first drafts are always lousy. Repeat it out loud. Repeat it every time you stall in your writing. Push yourself to write, even if it’s something you know will need a revision when you get to the second draft/edit/revision. (No, they’re not the same thing.) Just get the bones of the story down.

I’ve been known to leave notes about a scene in my first draft and move on to the next scene or chapter. The more notes, the better, but sometimes one line is enough.

Just remember: writing begets writing and momentum is a trump card. Play with words which have nothing to do with your project or  put notes as to the next scene. Just keep going.  You’ll find you really do have something to say.

After all, you’re a writer.

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , , , ,

4 thoughts on “Writer’s Block, Pervasive Myth

  1. Brian Meeks May 5, 2011 at 9:07 pm Reply

    On Jan 2, 2010, I started to blog. Prior to that day I thought I hated to write. I have written over 500 blog pieces since then, which includes nearly 3 novels. I remember one day, last summer, where I was blocked for about two hours. I wrote my way through it. I agree with your theory that writers block is a myth.

    I do consider though, I am a sample of only one. I can really only say that it is a myth for me. It would be presumptious to think, with my limited experiece, that I could speak for anyone but myself.

    I also believe that ‘First Drafts Are Always Lousy’ is another myth. I certainly make mistakes in my 1st drafts, spelling errors, leaving out the occasional obvious word, and grammar mistakes, but the story remains unchanged. Again, I don’t have any formal training, where I suspect that one learns that ‘First Drafts Are Always Lousy’. I imagine those who teach their students this philosphy, have been taught it themselves, by people who learned it from the generation before. My belief is there was a teacher, several hundred years ago, much respected for his written word, who required 100 rewrites to get the job done. He assumed it was the only way and preached this to his acolytes, lest they do in one sitting, what he could not.

    I write one draft, fix mistakes, and then it is done. Of course, I might suck. I will leave that up to the readers.

    Sincerely,

    Brian Meeks
    “Henry Wood Detective Agency” available 1st week in June.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 6, 2011 at 6:08 am Reply

      Thanks for such a thoughtful reply, Brian. I’m glad for it. It’s great you were able to write yourself out of your pause. I feel that too many buy into the thought of a block. As soon as they pause, they panic. “I’m blocked, it’s awful and I’ll never write again this way!” True in that “this way” isn’t going to solve a thing. Get to writing, anything and everything. As presumably you discovered.

      You may be a writer who can get away with a spiffy first draft. If so, my hat’s off to you. (Or it would be if I had one handy.) I recall going at a novel years ago, even editing it until I was pleased with it, then putting it away. Last year, I blew off the dust on the file and was horrified with what I discovered. I knew too much now to be happy with it. Maybe we’re fated to always feel that way. It could be that five years from now, I’ll read what I think is fine now and hide my face. Regardless, we do what we can to write well. If the first draft is good, the first draft is good. Job well done.

      Thanks again. I’m very happy you stopped by and hope to see you again soon.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  2. Johanna Harness May 5, 2011 at 10:39 pm Reply

    I agree completely. This is the writing we do when we have faith in the writing process. Very well said.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 6, 2011 at 6:13 am Reply

      Thanks, Johanna. I suppose I became slightly peeved at the number of “woe is me, I’ve writer’s block” tweets I saw. No offense meant to anyone, of course. This is my truth. I’m glad we’re in synch on the topic.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: