Creativity Writing

Writing is the best app

I have a brain training app — it’s called writing and it’s the hardest thing I do.

The code of writing is practice. You can’t possibly get writer’s block if you force yourself to publish something every day.

“Writer’s block is a phony, made up, BS excuse for not doing your work.”

Jerry Seinfeld, Reddit AMA

Quality is less important than the repetition — you can always go back and review it later.

When’s the last time you got talker’s block?

Writing is creating. It’s an art, like painting and drawing where the end-game is clarity, abstraction, or intricacy weaved together.

It’s not the writing that bogs down writers. It’s the editing. It’s the painful process of crawling through the brain dump you just took on paper and then polishing it for publication. As the Marines say, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

So why write if the process hurts so bad?

“Why write? To write. To make something.”

Claude Simon

More on writing: The Blank Canvass

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Seth Godin on writer’s block

Writer’s block is a myth created by people who are afraid to do the work.

There are various reasons writers let the blank page get the best of their emotions.

  • Trying to be too perfect
  • Procrastinating en route to excuses that usually include the word “But….”
  • Unwilling to fail or write poor sentences first
  • Living up to someone else’s expectations
  • Being afraid to share their work

Writer’s block appears to be the work of evil. It wants us to quit and hide in shame instead of “dancing with the amygdala” as Seth Godin pleads on the very subject in his new podcast: ‘No such thing (as writer’s block).’ Stream it below.

In reality, no one gets talker’s block just as a plumber never gets plumber’s block or a teacher gets teaching block. Such stuckness is a work of fiction.

Pro tip: The habit of blogging every day helps me defeat writer’s block. The more you write, the more you have to play with. Start your blogging journey and set up your website for FREE on WordPress right here.

Forget inspiration and do the work

If we choose to be professional, we choose to show up consistently and dance with the fear. We develop habits that allow us to unlock what Steven Pressfield calls the resistance in his book The War of Art, compelling the muse to work with us rather than against us.

This is what Seth Godin says on facing the resistance:

“The resistance never goes away. The more important the work is, the louder it gets. The harder you try to make it go away, the hard and more clever it gets in response. The work is doing it when you don’t feel like it. Doing it when it’s not easy.”

Seth Godin

Fear leads to inertia which leads to regret. The lizard brain wants us to run away and never come back.

What if instead of giving up, we started writing by doing it poorly, persisting through the maze of bad ideas. Only when we have something to work with can go back we tweak it.

Perfection is futile — writers rarely nail in a good sentence in the first draft. Rough drafts are expectedly shitty. All writing is in the edit, anyway.

“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”

Charles Bukowski 

If we write regularly, we’ll get better at avoiding the pain of getting stuck. Habits are everything. But if we do get blocked? Again, keep writing with no regard for perfection.

Said novelist John McPhee: “The funny thing is that you get to a certain point and you can’t quit. Because I always worried: If you quit, you’ll quit again. The only way out was to go forward, to learn your way and write your way out of it.”

In short, heed this writing advice: Don’t whine, don’t complain, get busy and make things. Speed-write, set an imaginary deadline, write by hand — do whatever it takes to get something down. And if we’re still stuck — go for walk while listening to Seth’s podcast below:

gif via & big hero 6

Arts Writing

The ‘perfect’ writing room

When it comes to writing, there's no such thing as the perfect setup. There is only good enough. The resistance eats away the perfectionist into inanition.  #writing #cartoon #funny

When it comes to writing, there’s no such thing as the perfect setup. There is only good enough. The resistance eats away the perfectionist into inanition.  

Start already.

PS. How come no one ever got talker’s block

Cartoon by Charles Barsotti