Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We could be rich!

...If only we could find a cure for Writer's Block.

Yup, I'm suffering from it. I've got 12 essays of varying length to write for applications, and I'm stuck on them. Sure, I've got a few ideas, but when I sit down and write them, they fizzle. Badly. I know I've complained about this before, but it sucks! I need inspiration, and quickly--the essays just keep piling up. Five of those 12 came in today.

So, I'm going to ask you all again, as I've probably done in the past. HELP! What do you do to get rid of Writer's Block?


  1. Write through it. Or more specifically, write about it. As Dave Barry points out, writer's block is the normal state of writing. You have to get through the turgid backlog of (whatever) that's clogging you up. Best advice I have is just write anything, even about writer's block, and any anxiety you may have about the essay pile.

  2. Seconded. Just write yes, some of it will be crap, but then you'll hit your stride and something good will come of it.

  3. Another good tip (along the lines of "write anything") is freewriting from a prompt. It could be anything, sunshine, how you feel after eating ice cream, weather, coffee, anything, but time yourself and keep your pen/pencil/typewriter/keyboard moving the whole time! 10 minutes is a good way to start. Even if you start with something repetitive like "I can't write right now, I have nothing to write, I am out of ideas" eventually your mind gets bored and BAM something happens! It might not be miraculous but it will be writing. (I have felt miraculous at times like these!)
    It's gotten me out of all my writing jams. Speaking of which I have an essay due in two days...should take my own advice and get going! :)

  4. I agree. I'm more of an editor than a writer. I have to barf something onto the page and then sculpt it into what I want. I'd like to hear about these applications. I may be going through a similar process and am a total newbie at middle age. I'd like to think describing them will help you write.

  5. The advice I always liked was "give yourself permission to write crap." Right now, you don't want to waste time writing garbage, so you write nothing. Go ahead, write the garbage. Then, you've written something, which means you can write something that isn't garbage.

    Oh, how I hate hearing that you can "get over writer's block by just writing" except that it is true. Maybe that's why I hate it.

  6. Thanks guys. You could have given me some bad advice, you know? Coulda told me that it's okay that I"m a horrible writer or something like that. That if I crawl back in my hole, it'll all go away and life will go back to normal.
    Guess I got to remember that there is no normal.
    I'm going to try to get some stuff written... granted, I can't hand crap to my editor, which makes just getting shit down on the page tricky, but yeah. I'm going to try.
    @notagain; what sort of stuff are you applying for?

  7. Still deciding. I don't know enough about grad school or fellowships to know how much flexibility I have to design my own program. We've known for centuries how best to plan urban environments yet it doesn't happen. I want to look through the lens of behavioral economics to explore why.

  8. @Notagain: That sounds really cool. I wish you all the luck in applying and designing your own program!