How I Learned to Stop Worrying—and Start Writing (Day 16)

When I am faced with a task that appears far too big for my undertaking, I start to panic. What adds fuel to the fire is when I actually really do care about the task for I suddenly become paralyzed with fear. In such cases I no longer know where to start, how to start,…

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Writing Routine: The Best Antidote to Writer’s Block

In 2013 Mason Currey wrote a book called Daily Ritual: How Artists Work, an enjoyable collection of the range of quirks and idiosyncrasies of some of the most creative people in history. Although learning that Beethoven personally counted the sixty beans that would end up in his cup of coffee every morning will not necessarily…

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The REAL Reasons Behind Writer’s Block (Day 10)

A former student of mine wrote me an email, to which I still have not replied. Ever since I have received that email, I keep on telling myself that I will write back. The issue is that I received it four years ago. It matters not how many good intentions you have (and as the…

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Writer’s High

There is no better feeling for a writer than that blissful state known as “writer’s high.” Have you never heard of “writer’s high”? Certainly, you know about “runner’s high,” that sudden feeling of euphoria and heightened energy that comes after prolonged and strenuous exercise. Writer’s high is the reward we wordsmiths receive after an exerting…

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New Ambiance, Familiar Troubles

An acquaintance told me the other day that one of her friends had gotten a commission to write a book about horses, and so this writer did what she assumed all writers did: she rented a log cabin in the middle of the woods. The idea of the writer recluse is not an unfamiliar one.…

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Writing Prompts Don’t Work for Writer’s Block

  Imagine that a famous artist were suffering through, as artists often are, a period of stagnation; this artist would start on canvases with great energy, only to destroy them shortly thereafter in a fit of hopelessness. Stuck in a cycle of unproductivity, this artist would be desperate to retrieve his former creative fire, to…

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7. Creative Writing Exercises: Overcoming Writer’s Block

  A writer may experience anxiety for a variety of reasons: having to meet a tight deadline, disappointment with one’s work, pressure to produce, etc. This anxiety is often a source of writer’s block. In addition to tapping into your subconscious, brainstorming, stream of consciousness, and establishing a routine to stimulate your creative juices, there…

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6. What the Writers are Saying: Quotes about Writer’s Block

  Let’s see what some writers are saying about plot: “You get your confidence and intuition back by trusting yourself, by being militantly on your own side. You need to trust yourself, especially on a first draft, where amid the anxiety and self-doubt, there should be a real sense of your imagination and your memories…

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5. Routine

  How routine promotes writer’s flow Creating a routine is crucial to creative writing flow. Just as no Olympic athlete can afford to take time off from training before a competition, so no writer bent on producing fiction can sit idle all day. In an old ESL manual I used to give to my students,…

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4. Brainstorming

  Inexperienced writers are often under the impression that real writers know the entire ins and outs of their characters and plot even before they actually begin writing. This inspires dread, spurred on by procrastination, and together they cause the creative inertia familiarly known as writer’s block. Like the stream of consciousness, brainstorming is one of…

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