No, I haven’t really had writer’s block, but it’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I thought I’d talk about writer’s block.

I believe that there are 2 different things that can be referred to as “writer’s block.” The first type is when you find yourself in the midst of a long stretch of writing, where you’ve drawn a blank and nothing is coming to you. I’ve found that the best answer to this is to take a break. Get up, go somewhere else, and do something that takes at least 10-15 minutes. When I do that, I usually find that I’ve come up with a way forward by the time I get back into the chair again.

The other kind of writer’s block is where you’re in a long stretch where you’ve got no ideas, no inspiration, and nothing is coming to you. It seems to me that the only way out of that is to simply write something, even if it’s dumb, and keep writing, and eventually you’ll come up with something good.

I can’t recall the specifics of the story, but there was once an author with writer’s block. He was broke, and asked his literary agent for an advance. The agent agreed, but with the stipulation that the author had to come into the agent’s office and sit in front of a typewriter for a full business day until the author’s book was complete. Soon enough, the author found the block had gone, and the work was completed.

So, if you’re feeling “big-picture writer’s block”, maybe the right answer is to do what the author’s agent got him to do — get rid of your distractions, put yourself in front of a blank page, and write something.

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