Frank Mitchell

Getting out of writer's block

Writer’s block is a plague, a gigantic suffering that leaves its victims dull and uninspired. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In his article, “Hack your way out of writer’s block”, Merlin Mann provides a neat little list for getting up and out of the gutter.

Jerry Oltion takes the concept even further and gives us “50 Strategies For Making Yourself Work”. It’s an big list, but it makes a lot of good points, especially about how many distractions (email, games, radio, etc.) we allow into our lives when we sit down at a computer to write.

With “Patching your personal suck”, Merlin takes the concept of writer’s block and extends it to all of the “stuck” areas in our lives.

“Because, you know: you can’t just turn it on and instantly be the thing you wish you were. It takes reflection, thought, iteration, and a personal commitment to facing the stuff at which you suck. And we all suck at something. You totally suck at something, and it secretly drives you nuts every goddamned day.”

Of all these ideas for unsticking writer’s block, however, I think my all time favorite has still got to be Warren Haymen’s admonition:


Sometimes, that’s all you can do. Just write, even if all you’re doing is writing gibberish.