Why I Write with One Eye Closed

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squinting-eye_2555352I think we can all agree on one thing: Writer’s block sucks. I know some people say they’ve never experienced it, but I’m a little suspicious of them. Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I am.

Anyway, for the rest of us, writer’s block, or what I’ve called writer’s blahs, happens, and I’m always trying to find a way to break through.

Now, there are plenty of books on this, some of which don’t even cost money.

What I offer here is simply my own experience, and I share it freely, with the hope that you might benefit from it.

When I have writer’s block/blahs I usually find that it results from some form of negative thinking. As Henri Junttila wrote in a helpful blog post, these negative thoughts can take the form of all-or-nothing thinking, a bad case of the should/have-to’s/musts, or dwelling on the negative, among other things.

Regardless of the thoughts, the source of the negativity is pretty clear. And that is the editor or the internal critic in all of us, the part of ourselves that rears its ugly head on a regular basis and sets up road blocks to our writing. So persistent and recurrent is the voice of this critic in the writer’s psyche, that I’d rank it along with death and taxes as permanent features of life.

Sometimes it seems that whatever you do, you can’t silence the voice of the internal critic. It just keeps ranting, telling you what a charlatan you are, that you have no talent, that what you are writing is tripe, and that you should just quit now before you fully embarrass yourself.

Does any of this sound familiar?

If it does, you might wish to try the following:

When you first wake-up tomorrow morning, head straight for the computer and start writing whatever comes next in your current work in progress (WIP).

I recommend this for the following reason: this is the time when your internal critic is the most silent, and this will allow you the freedom to write. Think of it this way: this is when your subconscious is still active, when the defenses of your conscious are at their lowest point.

The other time when your subconscious is very active is when you dream. And you know the freedom of dreams. When you dream, there is no critic telling you, well THAT doesn’t make sense, there is no way your ex would live in a flying cabin over Katmandu.

By the time you are fully awake, you might just find yourself in the writing swing.

If you try this, please let me know how it works out.

Keep writing,

Matt

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