• Danny

Writer's block is fun, like hemorrhoids. Here's how to beat it.

If you write, you know how it goes...

You stare at the screen. Then you check your email for the 95th time.

Then you stare at the screen. Then you check your toenails to see if any have gotten long enough to need trimmed within the last four minutes.

You stare at the screen some more. Then, at exactly the wrong moment, you remember that Teddy Roosevelt worked insanely hard without ever needing to take a break in his life, and so he became a multi-published author, noted historian, father, game hunter, explorer, governor, naturalist, president, etc, and you can’t finish this damn paragraph.

I wish I could do it Teddy’s way. But I can’t.

Instead, I keep multiple projects going at once. Right now, I’m doing a copy edit on Vertigo. I’m also writing the first draft of Halcyon, and I’m doing a condensation edit on the Dark Heart. I keep all three files open on my laptop at the same time. I bounce from one project to the other as frequently as I need to keep working, sometimes multiple times within only a few minutes.

The secret to beating writer’s block isn’t to beat it. It’s learning to be productive in spite of it. If you can’t blast an obstacle out of your way, then you need to work around it. There’s always a ton of things to do with you writing career. Maybe you need to find a cover designer for the novel you just finished, or you need to tweak your amazon algorithms on the one you just published, or you need to continue a character sketch for the novel you’re just now conceptualizing.

You can make a list of productive alternatives that work for you, and keep it handy.

And remember that if all those things fail for a little while, you can write a blog post just like this one!


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