How do you overcome writer's block?
"The writer's duty is to keep on writing," said novelist William Styron. But what do you do when you simply can't write--when that blank screen or empty page seems to be mocking your inability to come up with an idea or compose a decent sentence?
What you could do is consider the advice offered by these 12 professional writers.
- Don't concede it exists.
- Ignore it: you never stop speaking; why stop writing?
- Take a walk.
- Take five ice cubes, place in clean glass, add vodka.
- Try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it.
- Apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
(Mary Heaton Vorse)
- Pretend to be writing to an aunt.
- Write badly. Bad writing is easier.
- Write anything, anything at all that comes into your head.
- Feel panic at how quickly life slips by. Get to work.
- Prescription for writer's block: Begin.
For more advice on beating the block, see Writers on Writing: Overcoming Writer's Block.