I run a weekly private workshop, and when my students say they are “blocked” I know that more than likely they are afraid. They fear that what they are doing is hopeless, that they will never get published, so why bother? Or that the next “place” they have to take the work will be too painful or too dark to even consider writing.
This is not a “block,” it’s just your head telling you stories. When you think you are suffering from “writer’s block” do the following three things: 1. Take a long walk, or a long soak in the tub or whatever relaxes you. 2. Read Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules for Writing. 3.Then write what you would write if you weren’t “blocked.”
Writers’ block is baloney. So the next time your head is telling you it can’t be done, politely tell your head, “Thank you for sharing, now shut up.”
What this business of writing is really all about is the willingness to be fearless. Writing takes conviction, courage and tenacity. It is also an act faith. Cleanse yourself- – write with audacity and bravery and truth. And when the words come, give thanks.
Biography of Leslie Schwartz. Leslie Schwartz is the author of the award-winning novel, Jumping the Green, and the bestselling novel, Angels Crest, now a film debuting at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival. She teaches writing at Homeboy Industries, (www.homeboy-industries.org), and founded the literary magazine “Homeboy Review.” She also teaches at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and holds a weekly private workshop. Visit her web page at www.leslieschwartz.com.