Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block

Good morning, Rebels, and welcome back to my life.

It’s been a busy, busy, busy few days slash week slash whatever.

And one thing that’s been cool about it is I’ve been doing a LOT more video recently.

I finished editing my first sketch for the We Make Movies channel, which you should totally go subscribe to.

I’m mid editing my SECOND sketch for that channel, which is going to be absolutely amazing.

I did a little behind the scenes video about using Microsoft’s Surface Pro on a film set.

Video, video, video, which is all great, awesome, I love it, but it has detracted from my writing time a little bit.

And by a little bit, I mean I haven’t written anything this week.

Now, a lot of people have this problem. They either don’t have time for their writing, or they say they have “writer’s block.”

I’ve been pretty vocal about writer’s block before, but let’s talk about it.

I personally believe that there’s no such thing as writer’s block.

Writer’s block means that you CANNOT PHYSICALLY type any more words into your book.

This is never true. I mean, it might be difficult if your hands have been cut off. And actually, if that’s the case, um, sorry for being insensitive. It must be very difficult. Sorry.

But for most people, YOU CAN ALWAYS WRITE WORDS.

I think what most people mean when they say “Writer’s Block” is a crushing sense of depression and insecurity that prevents them from writing words into their book because they’re afraid those words won’t be good enough.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT? YOU’RE RIGHT!

Those words will NOT be good enough, because they never are, because EVERY first draft is just a steaming pile of elephant crap.

And what you do when that first draft is done is turn that elephant crap into clay, and then you sculpt it, and you form it into something that’s worth showing to the world.

But without spitting out elephant crap, you’ll have no clay!

So write those words, let go of that voice in your mind saying what you’re going to write is not good enough.

That’s a piss poor substitute for writer’s block, and I’m not buying it.

Any words are better than no words. The only way to fail in writing a book is failing to to write a book.

Now, there’s another common complaint with people, and this is more apropos to me, and that’s “Not having the time to write.”

That would be my “excuse” for the last week, except it’s not an excuse, it’s a reason, a conscious choice, a decision.

I have elected to spend my time this week doing other things than writing. And therefore no writing has occurred.

And this is why, when people complain to me that they don’t have time to write, I say, “Yes you do, but you spend it doing other things.”

I don’t care if you’re a slow writer, as long as you write.

I don’t care if you’re a “bad” writer, as long as you write, because if you write something bad, you can edit it into something good.

Twilight COULD be edited into a book that’s as good as The Lord of the Rings, if enough time was spent on it and if that was the end goal.

But if you are NOT writing, it is never because you do not have time to write, it is because you have elected to use your time for things other than writing.

Tolkien began writing snippets of The Silmarillion when he was in the foxholes of World War I, in between being shot at by people. In the middle of one of the greatest armed conflicts in human history, he found time to write.

That’s why I tend to be unsympathetic when people tell me they “don’t have time to write,” because they must spend their time doing SOMETHING. And at that moment, they’re spending it by telling me how they don’t have time to write.

And if you’re caught up in circumstances truly beyond your control that literally take up ALL of your days, which is a tiny, tiny, not even a percent of people, then yes, you’ve got some problems, and I acknowledge that.

Sort that stuff out, get it as well squared away as you can, and then when things are a little less chaotic, sit back down and start writing again.

The only way to fail in writing a book is failing to write a book.

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at garrettbrobinson.com.

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1 comments
Review_Hart
Review_Hart

When I say I have writers block, I don't mean I can't physically write. Of course I can physically write, if I couldn't I'd be running to the closest hospital. 


What I mean is "I can't find my muse at the moment, I can't see the words and I can't write anything worth keeping". Sure some people don't care, they just edit those words over and over until they make something decent. I, am not one of them. 


You can hand my editor two pieces of fiction (or non fiction realistically) which I've written and he'll tell you immediately if I forced one of them. I don't force my writing because to me, it's pointless. It's a waste of my editor's time, because IF it can be brought up to my usual standards, then it'll take 10x as much work as usual. It also stresses me out which stresses him out. So we then have this nice big clusterfuck of shitty writing and extra work. 


Writers block, for me, means that I cannot access the right mental and emotional state to write things, to see my fiction, as I usually can. Maybe a better person could train themselves to slip into that state, maybe someone else could just get through it and edit more, good for them. I'm not one of them, so I deal with my writers block. 

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