Friday, January 7, 2011

Writer's block: a problem of the past.

   Writing takes courage and patience. When we write we have to deal with the infinite possibilities of saying the same thing in different ways. It can get overwhelming. We also have to deal with the sight of the blank page when we struggle to write down that first challenging paragraph. It is for this reason that reading the book "Writing without teachers" a year ago, has been a turning point in my writing life.
   Peter Elbow's main piece of advice is to let yourself write everything without censoring yourself. I find myself writing the same idea in many different ways. I normally have a central idea of what I want to do, and everything revolves around my goal.
  When I let my mind expand, fly and play with the same scene or idea in different ways, it leads me to new thoughts, metaphors, and conclusions. Not only that, but I also end up accomplishing my task.
     It is right at the beginning when I silence my inner censor to let the thoughts flow profusely without restrictions. The mind needs that freedom to discover the "hidden material".
     It will be during a second stage that I  will work on the editing process. During this stage I may start by underlining the sentences that I like most. Then I rewrite the piece with some of those sentences. I may swap paragraphs, add sentences, delete words.
  During the editing process I become ruthless and thorough. I may discard a lot of the writing but the result of it is a meaningful manuscript. So as long as I have slept enough and ate well,  I  am ready to take a deep breath and set my mind free to write.
  How do you deal with writer's block?

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