Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm Blocked

Cover of "Kill Your Darlings"Cover of Kill Your DarlingsOr not. Some would tell you that there's no such thing as Writer's Block. Ok, me, and Lynn Mamet for two. And yes, she is related to David. From what she told me, he stole her toys as a kid. I have to wonder if that led to well, any episode of, The Unit.  So, what is it, exactly?

As previously discussed, we can't really quantify what it is. But I digress, as Peter David is fond of saying, or as of this writing, writing. What we do know is simply this: If you think you're blocked, that's the problem. You're thinking. Don't do that. Or this, or, the other thing.

Lest these look like morning pages, let me assure you, I'm writing this in the afternoon. And I may have to take a break soon, as someone from my alleged family will want the computer. I'm not alleging that I have a family, but a computer.

The first time I heard the phrase, "Writer's block" I pictured one of those blocks I had as a kid, with letters on up to six of the sides, maybe one of them had a picture of a toy. Or a duck. Why a duck? Why not a chicken? Ask Harpo, he might know. And if you haven't seen A Day at the Races, run right out to your Netflix queue, and rent it. I'm not affiliated with either Netflix or The Marx Brothers, I just thought you might enjoy it. And make sure to bet two dollars on Sun Up.

So, if we are to assume that I'm right, and I don't know why we wouldn't, it follows that you may have written something that you've thought about for a long time, and it's so brilliant that you can't write anything after, simply because none of that could compete. Or, it's ugly, however, you took the time to write it, and you don't want to get rid of it.
I once read a book, by Max Allan Collins, called Kill Your Darlings.  It's a mystery, about well, Bouchercon. Which may or may not be relevant to this rant. Basically, it's a book convention, where authors and publishers and fans go to promote, sell and buy, books. Which may be obsolete  by the time you read this, according to Seth Godin.

The phrase is relevant, simply because, at one point our hero is told to get rid of things that don't forward the plot. This also helps him solve the mystery of who shot whom, or of whom was shot, not sure.  It's a good thing. He stopped thinking, and started doing.

Procedurally, when writing, find chair, plant yourself in front of computer, and start writing. Don't stop. You'll find this method will make your stack of writer's blocks tumble down.

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.

e You next time.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: