A few years ago I coached a “blocked” writer.
She put it this way: “Something’s stopping me writing.”
So, being rather more naive then than I am now, I spent a week exchanging emails with her.
After every email message I sent, she’d send a longer message. Since my messages were taking me 20 minutes to write, I knew hers were taking half an hour or longer, so at the rate of three email messages a day, she was writing for 90 minutes a day. At least.
It made me grin – she was BLOCKED, was she? 🙂
The thrust of each message she sent in response to suggestions I made was, “Yes, but I already know that, and _________” Off she’d go, on a long explanation of how she knew whatever, and it wouldn’t work for her, because she was BLOCKED.
You don’t know until you know
Finally I lost all patience and called her on what she “knew.”
I told her that until she used what she knew, it wasn’t knowledge, it was information. You may know how to drive a car when you’re 15, because you’ve been watching others do it for years, but until you get behind the wheel and drive, you don’t KNOW at all.
I asked her to complete this sentence, “I know I am blocked, because…” and send me an 800 word essay on what “writer’s block” meant to her.
Don’t get caught in the information trap
There’s a huge amount of information on writing on the Web. However, unless you’re using what you know, you’re wasting precious time.
You can spend hours a day reading and thinking, and writing very little, because there’s always something else you need to “know”, before you can write. However, remember that you won’t know until you know – until you put information to work, so that it becomes knowledge.
You can only put information to work by writing… so write. 🙂
And the blocked writer? She wrote the essay, and from then on, kept writing. She’s now working on her third novel, and has just signed a contract for a nonfiction book. All she needed was someone to nudge her in the right direction.
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[tags]writing,write more,writing process,writing tips,writing skills,creativity,ideas,writer’s block[/tags]
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