Writer’s Block and the Surpassing Thereof

You’re a writer. You don’t know how to proceed with a project you have started. Whatever shall you do?


Let’s start with a windy essay on the subject from the New Yorker. It follows the following steps:

  1. Relevant interest-grabber from the life of Graham Greene.
  2. Theoretical support from psychoanalysts of the Freudian school.
  3. Empirical support from a psychological study done in the 1980’s.
  4. Some jibber-jabber to give the appearance of fleshing these ideas out.
  5. Some guy you’ve never heard of discussing his imaginary conversation with T.S.Eliot.

All of which in support of the idea of dream-journaling, or some other kind of journaling. Free-writing, anyway.

Now for something more 21st-Century: How to Overcome Writer’s Block: 14 Tricks That Work.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. You’re expecting a Buzzfeed/Cracked listicle, but it actually gets pretty in-depth. It even tells you what you should not be doing:

And just for fun, here are some anti-solutions to this problem:

  • You do not overcome writer’s block by refusing to write until you feel “inspired.”

  • You do not overcome writer’s block by wallowing in self-pity.

  • You do not overcome writer’s block by procrastinating or making excuses.

  • You do not overcome writer’s block by watching TV.

  • You do not overcome writer’s block by reading articles on how to overcome writer’s block. (Kinda shot myself in the foot there, huh?)

But here’s the best part:

The fail-proof way to overcome writer’s block is one you already know. In fact, you’ve been avoiding it this whole time, because it’s precisely what youdon’t want to hear.

You overcome writer’s block by writing. (Tweet)

Start somewhere, anywhere. Write a few lines. Say anything. And see what happens. Don’t think about it too much or make any fancy announcements. Just write. It doesn’t need to be eloquent or presentable; it just needs to be written.

Which means I need to up by word-production totals, or the infinite monkeys will never unionize, Jesus will never finish his conversation with Satan, and the Pricey Vulture will stay out in space forever.


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