by MW Cook

Do you hate the blank screen?  That stark whiteness that mocks you, dares you to throw some of your own petty words on it?  It taunts and jabs at you, making you muddled inside while staying pure and clean and white. And what do we say when it does that?  What do we say when it becomes hard to put words on the page?

“I have writer’s block!”

What is writer’s block?  I’m not really sure.  I think we mean that deep feeling of resistance, even revulsion, to writing.  It’s not that we don’t have good ideas.  We just can’t give birth to them.  It hurts.  We push and push, but create nothing new.

I think most people like me (i.e., people who write but had never been paid a cent for it) are pretty sure that writer’s block is just something that you have to deal with.  Work around it, maybe.  Wait until it goes to sleep.  But we never really hope that it will be destroyed altogether.

Suddenly, though, I think we’ve been thinking wrong.  You want to know why?  I think I just killed it.

If you read ten books on writing by ten successful writers, you’ll have ten different opinions on how to get into your flow and create.  Many of them contradict each other, and they all swear by what they do.  I tried every one of them.  And none of them worked.  Especially the ones I thought sounded the best.  So the blocks got worse.  Every time I sat down at a large project, it got harder and harder.  Heck, I hadn’t written anything of consequence on my large project for half a year.  Stuck.

And then I made my own way.  And writer’s block vanished in a puff of smoke.

It’s been two weeks since I started this new way of doing writing.  And I haven’t been stuck yet.  Some days are harder than others, of course.  But I’ve never, ever sat in front of a blank screen and kissed despair.  I’ve never thought of giving up.  I’ve churned out 1000+ words every single session.  Average session time: 2 hours.  I made my own way.  It works.  You know why it works?  Because it’s right for me.  It’s made for me.  Stephen King’s way works for him, but it killed me dead when I tried it.

Freedom in whatever you are pursuing is not a carrot in front of a donkey.  It’s possible.  It’s real.  You can level up.  As a writer, I feel like I’ve gone from level 1 to level 2.  And I have the distinct feeling that I can’t go backwards.  So whatever you’re trying to do, keep trying it.  Don’t listen to people who tell you how things need to be or the struggles you’ll always have.  You may not always have them.  You may win.  Why not?  I’ve just started winning.

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