Email from someone today:
“I was wondering if you could help how to deal with writer’s block.”
My response: It really depends. Writer’s block can have several causes. The most important thing to keep in mind is that “writer’s block” is not an issue of quality, but production. If you are writing and not happy with it, that’s not writer’s block–that’s being critical of your own work (which isn’t always a bad thing). Writer’s block is about not being able to put any words on the screen (or paper). Often, the solution is a re-commitment to writing bad first drafts and being okay with that. Defer your greatness to the second draft.
If you’ve never been able to write, that’s not writer’s block either. That’s a case where you haven’t become comfortable with the creative process. You need to return to the basics.
Writer’s block is: I could write, now I can’t.
I’d recommend the book IF YOU WANT TO WRITE by Brenda Ueland. She is friendly and encouraging, perfect for the frustrated scribe.
Be leery of expensive writing conferences. They can feed on desperation.
If you need more personal help, I offer consultation and coaching at $50 an hour. However, I’d recommend you first honestly assess where the block is coming from (fear of failure? of judgment?) before you start throwing money at the problem.
I hope this helps. Good luck.