I realize that it would be more fashionable if I told you there were ten ways to do it, but there’s really only one. I also realize that you may think I’m trying to be funny, but I’m not.
Have you guessed it? Sure you have! The only way to beat writers’ block is to write. Write whether you feel like it or not. Sweat bullets. Hate every moment; hate yourself and your work, but write.
I know what I’m talking about. I write for 10 to 12 hours a day. On weekends, I might cut down to six hours on Saturday, and on occasional weekends, I might even take Sunday off. My clients are waiting. My reputation depends on it. I must write.
Oh, there are days when the words come with difficulty. There are days when I feel stupid and incompetent. And yes, much of what I write is not meant to be artistic. Perhaps I don’t understand artistic sensibility well. But if I were to wait until I felt intelligent, articulate and inspired, I might never write at all.
It seems to me that the great fiction writers work in much the same way. I have read several sources that refer to long hours with self-imposed targets to reach. Who said art wasn’t hard work? I would respect it less if it were easy.
Returning to my personal experience: on days when I struggle, I have found myself writing some pretty good stuff. I may not have thought it much good at the time, but a few days later, l read it through and find myself thinking: “That’s not too bad after all!”
I’ve concluded that it’s just a matter of attitude. I’m probably more likely to make mistakes on days when I feel supremely confident.
There was a time when I sympathized with people who told me they have writers’ block, but now I see it as an imaginary ailment. It’s an excuse, not a reason. Stop being pretentious, get on your backside, and write. Not wanting to write is not ‘writers’ block’. If you don’t want to write, that’s up to you, but please don’t try to make it sound more interesting than it is.
If you write for fun, and it stops being fun, that should be reason enough to stop. You need no other reason. Nobody will judge you. If confidence is your issue, there’s only one way to build both confidence and skill. If you lack inspiration, go in search of some. If you can’t find any, you need to reconsider how you see the world: “Houston we have a problem. The world in all its glory is before me, and yet I am not interested.”
Whew. Now that’s off my chest! Writers’ block? Get over yourself and write!