Muddle-headed Kay (mhw) wrote,
Muddle-headed Kay
mhw

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On "writers' block"

This is a comment I made recently to someone. I think it bears repeating for all you writing people (and other creative-stuff types out there, because I'm sure there must be such things as sculptors' and dress-designers' blocks) to look at when you (and I) get stuck.

So you're blocked now. It happens. It's awful. It's also temporary.

Show me a writer who's never blocked, and I'll show you a writer who's written nothing except endless 700+ page-per-volume trilogies (or worse) that have maybe a couple of good short stories inside them and which are all that should have been written if the writer had any self-critical ability. In my quite unmodest opinion, they aren't writers, they're text factories.

You and I, on the other hand, maybe have too much of that self-criticism, or, rather, we can use it as a hindrance rather than a help. Self-criticism can be destructive as well as constructive. Acknowledging that we don't write as well as we'd wish to be able to is one thing; turning it into "WOE! OMG I SUK TOTALLY!!1!!one" doesn't help. You're as good a writer as you are, and you'll never be as good as you want to be, but that's true of anyone who ever set pen to paper who isn't utterly devoid of shame or talent. So unstaple your hand from your forehead and pick up the pen, OK?

This is the advice that I keep trying to give myself, and it's worth exactly what you paid for it :(
Tags: writing
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