Writer Resources

Blogger’s Block

Ahhh I took too much time off and now and I can’t think of what to blog about. I broke my cardinal rule:  Thou must keep producing. As long as I consistently write 2-3 posts a week, I have an unlimited wealth of ideas. My inner critic is silenced and I am free to write about whatever pops into my head.

RomaFictionFest - Conferenza 2010 - LL Cool J ...

But as soon as I take a break — let’s say for an amazing wedding in Maryland –when I return to my computer my brain is dead. No topic is good enough for my comeback post (ok it’s only been a nine days. LL Cool J definitely wouldn’t call it a comeback). It would be so much easier to go get ice cream rather than figure out what to write about. 

And so, here’s my back up cardinal rule: If thou can’t think of something to write, write about that. It’s pretty helpful; even as I write this I’m thinking about what I can post next. And if you don’t believe me, listen to modernist poet Charles Bukowski: “writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”

What tips do you have for writer’s block?

***And if you need a laugh, say the title of this post three times fast.***

The virtues of a group

Four years ago some of my friends and I started a writer’s group. We met every week and shared samples of our writing. We’d offer feedback and encouragement. It was one of the highlights of my week.

There’s something that happens when you share something as personal as your rough drafts. You’re basically saying, “this is the best I can do for the moment. Please be gentle. Please don’t hate it (me).” And in this process of sharing we became really close.

Writing can be lonely and isolating. One of the reasons I like blogging is that I get instant feedback, and connection (even if it’s just a cyber connection). But my personal writing is, well, personal, and I don’t want to share with the world just yet. That’s why it’s so great to have a writer’s group that you trust and respect that will help you coax your writing out of the laptop.

The four of us have been through 2 weddings (soon to be 3). A birth, a break up, firings, hirings, 6 new apartments, and all the other ups and downs of life. We set up our own writer’s retreat. We send each other articles when we think it’s applicable to our writing. We notify each other of grants and great opportunities. We recommend and share books.

Having a common passion for literature brought us together and made us better friends. I’m so glad Sojourner, Stacey, and Kelley are in my life. Although we haven’t met for a few months (we got side tracked by a wedding and a new baby), I know that I have a community of women who will give me the support and encouragement I need -whether it’s for my writing or for my life.

I hope you all have, or will create, a similar group. It doesn’t have to be writing. I’ve always wanted to join a quilting circle, for instance. At least in New York, it seems like friends always get together to eat or drink. It’s nice to have a different reason to get together- one that nurtures your interests.