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Is There A Cure For Writer's Block?

Updated on May 11, 2011

Have you had at "writer's block"?

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From My Mind To The Page

It is frustrating to look at a blank page and know that you should put words on it. You close your eyes and think really, really hard, about thinking. "I will create today." You say this again and again, believing that if you tell your mind that it's on duty, it'll actually do something more than sit. You take a deep breath and crack your neck. On a normal day, you wouldn't crack your neck, but you've always heard that cracking one's neck opens up a flow between your hands and your brain. You'd do just about anything to fill that page.

You write one word and stare at it. "Is this the word I want to start with?" It doesn't matter, you tell yourself. All that matters is that you wrote a word. You don't have to keep that word. Once you write everything else, you can delete that word and pretend you never wrote it. You stare extra hard at it now. After a minute, fearing that this one bad word choice will compromise the whole project, you delete it. And, once again, you're staring at a blank page.

You remember something that Anne Lamott once wrote about dealing with one thing at a time, "bird by bird", and how she encourages her students to write something, anything, because something is better than nothing. You remember that she gave a specific measurement, but you can't remember right now what that is.

Reconsidering your decision, you re-type the word you deleted. You type another word after that and another until that page is full. You don't know what you wrote. You don't care what you wrote (for the time being). You see that the page is full and you do a happy dance. You can edit for perfection another day. Today, your ego needs a "not too bad."


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