Monday, January 9, 2012

Writer’s Block

I guess anyone who does any amount of writing experiences some level of writer’s block.  My son is an excellent and prolific writer.  He has written several short stories and has started ten times more than those that are complete.  He may, in time, return to those ideas to bring them to full fruition.  He may not. 

I understand writer’s block.  I also understand that one great story has 10 failed ones behind it.  The problem is when the writer is also my son and my student.  When do I allow for the artist to be an artist, and when do I push lessons that have nothing to do with grammar or story lines? 

One of my fears is that my children will live their lives with great potential.  At some point the young grow up and all that potential is just sad.  I feel I am guilty of failing to follow through with some of my own dreams.  I haven’t always pushed against the resistance (sometimes substantial, other times merely my own laziness) to complete projects.  There are few things that make me feel more lousy than seeing my bad traits and poor habits manifested in my kids.  Ugh!  The guilt!


  1. The best advice is "Write something, anything, NOW." Start in the middle, at the end, wherever. Just write. Don't edit, don't tell yourself it is crap. Just write - even if it is Mary had a little lamb....

    Get a paragraph or two written, then take a coffee break. Massage the work a little, maybe, then write more: it's fleece was white as snow.

    Then look at the work. Is there one phrase worth saving? Copy it to the bottom and build from that.

    I tend to start in the middle, then write the end, then go to the beginning. Then edit it all.

    At work, I couldn't let myself or my staff let writer's block win. We had deadlines and the work had to be done and done well. The only way to start is to start.

  2. It is funny you should share this. I wrote from writers block myself. I wrote the first sentence and then thought of Max, so began writing about him. :)
    I like deadlines. I think I often would never have finished the books I wrote without that external motivation.

  3. See, and I would have said "Forget the assignment! Allow the artist--in fact, let him draw or sculpt instead of writing this day. If the assignment is just to write, then let him copy some Lewis or other great writer so that he learns to emulate, but do not have him waste his heart writing on just another assignment."

    Like mom, I rarely start at the beginning. But often in the middle and then focus on the end. But I also write tomes in the shower (in my head) that never make it to paper. :)


Thanks for taking the time to talk with me!