I think writer’s block, for me at least, is not that we have run out of creative juice (You know that heart-pumping fuel that drives us forward in a story.) I believe it’s the mind’s ability to trick us; to convince us that we have nothing left in the tank. For good or bad, our mind blocks our view of the creative horizon; protecting us from more hard work, more writing, more editing; shielding us from disappointment. What if everyone hates it, or laughs at my efforts? All those self-doubts.
The best way to beat the block is to hit it with something hard.
Hit it with persistence! Write with guts. Sit down and write. Write anything. Get past the mud-sodden bog by moving forward until you hit dry land. Cast aside your critical self and let the artist work.
‘It’s a medium like anything else, and I think if we writers neglect the trend we will, to some extent, be left behind. … I’ve taken a look at some of these electronic books, and technologically, they aren’t the same as flipping through even a cheap paperback on the beach. … But I think anybody who says, ‘Oh, it’s just a wave that’s going to pass or it’s newfangled and it’s too difficult, let’s forget about it’ – I think that’s shortsighted. I think it’s another wonderful way to get the words we, writers, create into the hands and the hearts and minds of the readers, and you neglect it at your peril.’
Are you scratching your head? Well done. That’s the secret.
The little girl held her breath in protest. Harry scratched his head and drew a hand across his receding hairline. She’s turning blue, he thought. What the heck is she doing?
Draw attention to the inner self by using the outer physical self. Outer gesture – inner thought. Try it.
Over the last twenty years or so I have read more Writer’s help books than I care to admit. I stopped reading them at one point because they were all selling the same regurgitated bile. I figured I had learnt all there was, outside of practical experience, because I could find nothing original.
Then I stumbled on The War of Art.
It was like a slap in the face by a super model – it hurt, but it hurt good.
The reality was this: no quick fixes; no soothing, ego-stroking mantras and no dooms day anti-traditional publishing boo hoo’s. I had to think differently, act and work like a professional and recognise the existence of a force Steven calls ‘Resistance’ and that this Resistance was real, was unsympathetic, and was the shadow of all our creative endeavours. More importantly, he also taught me how to beat it.
His url: http://www.stevenpressfield.com/
At the moment I am reading ‘Do the work’ but I highly recommend you read or listen to ‘The War of Art’ first.
I gain nothing from this post other than the knowledge that I have passed on a valuable resource to creative brothers and sisters who struggle every day with labour pains of their art.
Google’s too cleaver for that now – it’s about good quality content. If users spend time on your site, share articles and back-links, that’s when the traffic/meta data cops at Google take notice and boost up your ranking. In short, good writing will provide good content. Here’s a quick list: