2/30: Attack the Block!

Writer's Block.

We all get it.

The question is how to work around it.  Move past it.

Let's start by going for the the throat.  Choose something you've had problems writing about in the past.  Something it's hard to wrap your mind (or heart) around putting on the page.

Childhood fears.  Shame.  Outrage.  Love.

Look at what it is that makes this subject difficult for you.  Is it too scary to think about?  Do you end up stabbing your paper with your pen instead of writing?  Is it just too big and monumental (or small and personal) to figure out where to start?

Do you find yourself starting and stopping and starting over?

Or find a voice chiming in criticizing your efforts?

Or just gnash your teeth and find something else to distract you instead of writing?


Fine, let's start there.  Try making a list of things you'd rather do instead of writing this poem.  Why they're easier and safer.

Or engage that voice.  Have a conversation with it.  Talk about what's keeping you from writing.  Let it become therapy.  Or maybe anger.  Argue with it.  Rail against the voice and let it rail back.

Come up with your own strategies about how to engage with this subject.  Get creative.  Get flummoxed.  Stab the paper.

Put words on paper.


Also, check out this article (plus video and text) of Mahogany Browne discussing her poem "Working Title" over at PBS News Hour.

Plus, there's a cool video of Andrew Bird singing to (or more at) his inner critic (yes, that's Fiona Apple) here.