Writers Block (and how to use it)

As I write this weekly blog I am finding myself thinking about my writing all the more than I was before which is a very good thing and it makes me happy because it is helping to keep me on track. Of course while I’ll admit that I have been thinking on my writing more frequently I have very little to speak for it. Of course, with circumstances the way they have been in my life with the near death scare of my grandpa to the actual death of my grandpa I can be forgiven. Yet as I had little to do but think as I rode the 6+ hours to the funeral and 6+ hours back I thought about why else there has been little results for my writing aside from indecision and it struck me – I have writer’s block.

I recognize in my self a particular type of writer’s block which is when you are too worried about the quality of the work and getting out that next great novel and how things won’t be as good as what is already written or you aren’t good enough to write what you want to write. It’s a nasty little cycle that is part in parcel to being one’s own worst critic which I feel can be a whole blog entry in and of itself as any artist of most any variety can say that they are their own worst critic. Many authors don’t re-read their books because they will sit there and pick out what they could do different or better, many actors have said they hate watching themselves act. The list goes on.

Still with writer’s block there is a large plethora of books out there all advising on what writer’s block is and how to handle it. If you Google “How to overcome writer’s block” there is a myriad of links as well and a list right off the bat that includes things like “Take a walk” “Eliminate distractions” “Change the environment”. All of these things are well and good but writer’s block isn’t just about that, there is more to it than your physical environment and world though that does indeed factor in, it is also a matter of your mental state and standing.

This is why I feel like in a lot of ways I live and die by “Writer’s Block and How to Use it” by Victoria Nelson. It is an out of print book though there are copies once can find used on Amazon. It was a book I thank my lucky stars I picked up on a lark at a used book store for less than a dollar. I swear I bought if for about a 25-50 cents. Little did I know that day that I went home with a treasure of a book that has helped me through two separate writer’s blocks as it pin points a lot of familiar issues and helps point out the issues behind the writer’s block and how to hone the block to work for you rather than against you. I love this book and I wish I could properly express how amazing it is and how worthy of a buy it is for any writer who suffers from writer’s block. I feel it is of value to writer’s in general in my opinion.

Of course I will give fair warning that there are some things that Victoria says I don’t buy into but on the whole what she has to say is pretty solid. Over all seeing as it has been sometime since I last read and needed “Writer’s Block and How to Use it” I might take up the journey of not only re-reading it as I feel I need to go but going though it a chapter/section at a time on the blog. Not that every coming blog will be of the book – I like to spice things up after all but maybe it could be of some value to more than just me.


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