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Writer's Block

My favorite advice for writer's block is, "a glass of red wine and some decent music."

There are times when I haven't felt like writing but rarely a day when I haven't set down words; my most significant act.

Seriously though, the two best tips for fighting this dread is to do some physical labor and to start in the middle of an article, story, poem, etc. Another good idea is taking yourself someplace unusual for a few hours or a day. I know when I go out and chop a lot of wood, get sweaty and out of breath, feel connected to my root strengh, I come back to the writing desk with a renewed vigor.

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Writing is a performance disguised by the neatness of typography. The performance comes because the writer is a conscious person communicating in a distinctive voice. And the writer usually possesses what most introverted types have: A performing self hidden and blocked by the natural distrust of the world.

This performance is enacted in a nearly pre-conscious state like the original dances of the Greeks and the advent of theater. It is a constant movement of energy like the cold ocean moving under the surface of the warm ocean. When there is trust the words flow. When the writer doesn't trust what is going on, there is stoppage.

"Writers block" could be characterized as stage fright. Whatever you might call it, plenty of people have put forward their solution.

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There's no systematic way to get around the condition since it appears for a variety of reasons. Make sure you read the links below and get as many viewpoints on writer's block as you can. Sometimes it's just a matter of going back over your notes or reading a stimulating book.

And other times it is a matter of waiting out the mysterious process that has stopped you from your tasks.

One of the better books about it is On Writer's Block by Victoria Nelson. She has a psychological view and prefers that writers give up any excuses.

"Not everyone with a desire to write, after all, becomes a writer...Many avid readers harbor a secret desire to be a writer because they believe the pleasure to be gained from writing is identical to that gained from reading."

If they only knew the truth of the matter.

Nelson is an accomplished writer herself and her book is a treatise on the act of writing. It's slanted more for the fictionalist but all writers can get something out of it.

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I knew of one writer who quit writing the moment he was disillusioned of the pursuit of fame and fortune.

But that motive dries up after awhile. And if no constructive principle is in place that the writer trusts, chances are she will suffer a block.

The finished piece always looks easier than it took to make. Talented writers often write for a long time by a kind of wonderful imitation of writers they've admired. But then, when that runs out the writer is lost because he doesn't have the constructive principles to continue.

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Don't panic if you are afflicted with this block but work with it, try and find out the purpose of it, and then work hard through the purpose and reconnect with the original passion that got you writing in the first place.

The best advice to any writer is "find your own way." We make reality by doing, failing, and moving on. Do that enough times and eventually you stick a good staff into a bright and clean underground spring.

By the way, if one glass of wine doesn't work try the second or third one.

Written by David Eide, Sunoasis.com

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Overcoming writer's block.
Article on writer's block in New Yorker Magazine.
How to overcome writer's block from Page Wise.
Jamie Walker has some excellent things to say about the condition.
How to get rid of writer's block.

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David Eide
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copyright 2000-2016