Work with, not against, your brain
I don’t believe in writer’s block. Never had time for it. Blank page? I’ll take two, please. I’ve never met the muse. She sounds delightful, but she’s never knocked on my door.
“There is a muse,” writes novelist Stephen King. “But he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer station.
“He lives in the ground. He’s a basement guy. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there, you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in. You have to do all the grunt labor, in other words, while the muse sits and smokes cigars and admires his bowling trophies and pretends to ignore you.”
“I’d like to remind you again, Winfield, that daydreaming is only a part of the creative process.”
— Boss to employee in a New Yorker cartoon by Charles Barsotti
Still, every writer struggles with times when you’d rather be reading a book than writing one — or heading to the coffee shop instead of the office. So how can you put words on paper when you can’t think of what to write?
The solution lies in one of the most misunderstood — and therefore, the most frustrating — of all writing tools. But skip it, and you can look forward to some long days staring at a blank page.
Here are three ways to perform this essential writing exercise:
Work with — not against — your brain
While we talk a lot about what to write — More stories! Fewer words! Shorter sentences! — we don’t focus so much on how.
Writing is hard because we weren’t taught how to write. Instead, we were taught how to edit: how to spell, punctuate and use the right grammar.
But there is a how to writing. Learn a few simple steps that will make your writing time more effective and efficient at How to write Better, Easier & Faster — our writing-process workshop starting March 21.
You’ll learn to invest your time where it’ll do you the most good … stop committing creative incest … even save time by editing before writing.
Save up to $100 with our group discounts.