‘I can fix a bad page, but I can’t fix a blank page.’ These sage words were spoken by Nora Roberts at a RW Australia conference in Sydney I attended a number of years ago.
Then not so long ago I attended a workshop with Barbara Samuel and she showed me another trick. Write in long hand, for a short period of time, on something from your childhood. No stops, no pauses. You finish and read and think, well, yes I can produce.
The words and the sage advice these women spoke are almost a mantra to me now and I find myself saying them when I stare at that blank page.
You’ve all heard, writing isn’t easy, if it was, my cat, whom I’m sure can talk, would be pumping out NY Times bestsellers.
A lot of things can contribute to you not being able to write.
I don’t call it writer’s block I think stress block may be a more appropriate term to use. Daily stresses like work, home, family and kids are big hurdles that put road blocks in your mind.
Another is self induced stress, the stress to succeed, the stress to produce, to meet deadlines. These things can stop you. They’re like devils, pixies or gnomes, sitting on your shoulders whispering in your ears to the point where you can’t concentrate enough to produce anything.
Yep, I’ve been there, but I remembered that advice and I found myself doing something else. I may not have produced much during that time but I edited and got the ‘girl’, aka my muse, to cooperate.
Yep, I’m free to write crap for however long it takes for her to start taking the hint.