How to Conquer Writer's Block in One Word

It happens to every writer a some point: the blank page... Here's how to get past it.

If you are any kind of writer, it's going to happen to you. You're going to find yourself staring at a blank page with a mind that is equally empty. Reviewing the prevailing literature, it is shocking that among the top solutions mentioned, from examining the psychological causes of your impasse (is it anxiety? fear of failure?) to changing your editor, or just doing something else (isn't that just giving in?) one word is rarely said. That word is read.

We don't mean just skim the surface for pleasure. Find a book and read deeply. Try to understand what the writer is doing, what tools she or he is employing to achieve the ultimate goal of the writing. Stop partway through and imagine what the next paragraph could be. And once you read it, think about how you could have structured it differently. How would you have done it better?

We love to use copyworking on these occasions. Take a paragraph from the book you are reading and write it out word for word. Just copy it. Now take another one. This time, try to memorize it. What is the writer trying to convey. Now see if you can reproduce the writer's work word for word. You'll be surprised at the additional meaning you get from it. Now take a shot at writing it better. In your own words. That's right? We said it. Better. 

Because above all, remember you are going to be good at this. And the rest of us can't wait to see what you come up with.




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