Tip #4 Succumb to Writer’s Block (Or If you can’t say anything brilliant don’t say anything at all.)

Tip #4 in the 52 Ways not to Get Published series


02.19.10 (Photo credit: colemama)

I hesitated to blog last week (okay, and I ran out of time.)  I have the same problem on Facebook: if I can’t say something remarkably witty, I don’t want to say anything at all.  But then I had to face the truth.  Nothing I have to say is earth shattering.  None of my blog entries are going to change the world (if that’s what you were expecting, you can stop reading now.)  I’ll pretty much guarantee that nothing else I write will either.

For the first thirty years of my writing life, I had no experience of writer’s block.  Whatever wanted to come onto the page, I just allowed it to come.  It wasn’t brilliant.  It didn’t bring any new and amazing ideas into being.  And it didn’t stop.

Eventually, though, I started listening to the rules of good writing.  I worried about my characters’ story arcs; I paid attention to three act structure; I assured there was tension in the plot that resolved to a feverish pitch at the climax.  I tried to do all those important things that we are told we must do as writers.

And I started getting writer’s block.

My internal editor became noisier than my internal muse.  Doing what was correct became more important than following the story where it wanted to go.  My left brain waged a war and vanquished my right brain.  The only thing that suffered was my writing.

If you are serious about your quest not to get published, give in to the writer’s block.  Strive for perfection in every word, and you probably won’t get many words on the page.  If you don’t have words on the page, you won’t have anything to submit.  Problem solved.

Yet, at time I wonder, what’s worse, writing a bunch of crap, or not writing at all? Both will help you not get published.  One’s a lot more fun.  After all, a terrible writer is still a writer.

(Apparently writer’s block is a hot topic!  Here is a sampling of some other blog posts you might enjoy.)

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