On Writing

How to Fix Writer’s Block

 

— Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou
Maya

If you have a nagging case of writer’s block there are several things you might do. Most writers have one or two methods that have helped them in the past.

Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Here are a few thoughts from several famous writers about that soulless malady.

“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’” — Maya Angelou

-Ray Bradbury-

famous writer Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury

The author of ‘The Martian Chronicles. “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.”

“You fail only if you stop writing.” “Don’t talk about it; write.”

-Mark Twain

Painting of Mark Twain
Mark Twain Painting

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

Not exactly about writer’s block, but use it and the block should be gone anyway. -Nafasia

-Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway
Papa Hemingway

Hemingway had a unique take on writer’s block. He felt it was caused by writing to long.

“The main thing is to know when to stop. Don’t wait till you’ve written yourself out. When you’re still going good and you come to an interesting place and you know what’s going to happen next, that’s the time to stop.”

 

-John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck picture
Steinbeck

“Pretend that you’re writing not to your editor or to an audience or to a readership, but to someone close, like your sister, or your mother, or someone that you like.”

-Barbara Kingsolver

how to fix writer's block
Kingsolver

“I learned to produce whether I wanted to or not. It would be easy to say oh, I have writer’s block, oh, I have to wait for my muse. I don’t. Chain that muse to your desk and get the job done.”

 

-Neil Gaiman

picture of Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman

“Put it [your writing] aside for a few days, or longer, do other things, try not to think about it. Then sit down and read it (printouts are best I find, but that’s just me) as if you’ve never seen it before. Start at the beginning. Scribble on the manuscript as you go if you see anything you want to change. And often, when you get to the end you’ll be both enthusiastic about it and know what the next few words are. And you do it all one word at a time

Before these videos take a peek at this extra bit on writer’s block; Charles Bukowski

-J.K. Rowling on writer’s block

2 thoughts on “How to Fix Writer’s Block”

  1. Thanks for sharing these collection of tips from great writers. Writer’s block isn’t as overwhelming when you realize everyone deals with it.

    1. Thanks Derek. I really enjoy reading about how other writers deal with writer’s block. It can be overwhelming for many of us. Especially if you have a dreaded deadline.

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