Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Guaranteed Cure for Writer's Block

Writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all.

Charles Bukowski

A Freudian psychoanalyst, Edmund Bergler, dreamed up the term "writer's block" in the late 1940s. His remedy, naturally, was the "talking cure." At today's prices, that costs $300 a session.

Fine, if you can afford it.

A fiction writer like Stephen King cures writer's block less expensively.

King simply goes for a three-mile stroll, and conjures up another unhinged politico, demonic pet, or zombie retiree, to move a gridlocked story forward.

B2B writers can't use that trick (although walking is good for everyone).

You'll find lots of nutty advice (climb into a sleeping bag, or listen to pink noise, or down a martini), but the best cure for writer's block, in my experience, is a three-step technique I learned from copywriter Bob Bly:
  • Locate a project you wrote that's similar to the current project
  • Make a copy of the file and open it
  • Start rewriting your own copy
You'll not only avoid writer's block, you'll quick-start the new project. Don't have a similar project? Then swipe another writer's and start to rewrite that.

Try it. Don't wait til writer's block besets you.
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