One of the common mistakes we writers can make when we write a story based in another country is to imagine the readers living in our own location. We expect our readers to automatically see what we see, hear what we hear, and smell what we smell. Yet surely part of the thrill of reading about another country, is to learn about other lands and cultures? We need to treat our readers as our guests and share with them some of the local traditions.
English as a language
Before I became a writer, I believed English was one language. Wherever you lived, if you spoke English, you . . . spoke English! By the same token, if you wrote English, you . . . wrote English.
Obviously, my way of writing English was the correct way, the only way. After all, I was English. (Scottish actually, but we’ll ignore that.)
Because I grew up in the British Colony of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) most of my books came from England. They were printed in the same English as my teachers taught. I moved to South Africa to study nursing, and all my textbooks were printed in the UK.
The Arrival of the Internet
Out of the Shadow of Ruth
The women in this series are usually thought of under the shadow of another person.
Naomi’s story is over-shadowed by the much-loved romance of Ruth and Boaz, yet the book of Ruth starts with Naomi and ends with Naomi.
Five weeks ago I confessed . . . I had writer’s block. I mean, real writer’s block. I couldn’t write three words that made sense. After fighting this malady for several weeks (before I confessed) I decided to research the topic. So I turned to the best of all research buddies – Google! I didn’t know at the time how much there was to read about the topic, or that there were different types of writer’s block. I wanted to know what I could do to overcome it.
I enjoyed what I learned so much that I decided to share it with you. And wham! No more writer’s block.
We discussed whether you believed in Writer’s Block and looked at some of the causes.
Next, we looked at 12 Ways to Deal with Writer’s Block, reading the opinion of 12 well-known authors.
The following post we came up with 17 Ways to Prevent Writer’s Block from happening.
Then the post before this one we looked at 26 Quotes from Best-selling Authors on the topic of Writer’s Block.
So what more is there to say? Well, I’ve discovered in my research that there are different types of Writer’s Block. This should probably have been #2 in the series of course, but hey! I’m learning as I go, and I hope you’re coming with me. As we look at the different types, I hope to add one or two suggestions for dealing with them.
A few weeks ago I admitted to suffering severe writer’s block, following two back-to-back surgeries. I couldn’t think what to write about or what I could say. Finally I decided to see what I could dig up on the Web about writer’s block, and sure enough writing about it got me writing again!
Over the past few days I’ve gathered some short quotes from a selection of authors, some well-known and others I’ve never heard of. Almost all of them have something wise to share with us. The one thing that strikes me is this:Every writer has something to say about writers' block. Click To Tweet
Some of their pithy comments are worth printing out and sticking on our computers.
We started this series by looking at what writer’s block is, and some of the ways we can overcome it. In the second episode, we saw what 12 best-selling authors have to say about writer’s block. And then last post we looked at 17 ways to prevent writer’s block.
Many quotes from authors say writer’s block is some sort of fear:
Could this be true? And if so, how can we conquer the fear? Here are a few:
- “Why do I keep evading my work? Is it because I’m afraid of being confronted by my lack of abilities?” Candace Bushnell,
- “I deal with writer’s block by lowering my expectations. I think the trouble starts when you sit down to write and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent—and when you don’t, panic sets in.” Malcolm Gladwell
- “I think writer’s block is simply the dread that you are going to write something horrible. But as a writer, I believe that if you sit down at the keys long enough, sooner or later something will come out. Roy Blount, Jr.
- “Writer’s block is just another name for fear.” Jacob Nordby
Here are some quotes from authors suggesting ways to deal with writer’s block:
- You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block. John Rogers
- “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain.
- I’ve often said that there’s no such thing as writer’s block; the problem is idea block. When I find myself frozen–whether I’m working on a brief passage in a novel or brainstorming about an entire book–it’s usually because I’m trying to shoehorn an idea into the passage or story where it has no place. Jeffery Deaver
- “Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all” Charles Bukowski, The Last Night of the Earth Poems.
Some quotes from authors warn about internal editors:
- “Don’t get it right, just get it written.” James Thurber
- “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.” William Faulkner
- “Confront the page that taunts you with its whiteness. Face your enemy and fill it with words. You are bigger and stronger than a piece of paper.” Fennel Hudson,
- “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” Anne Lamott“
A few more quotes from authors concerning writer’s block:
- “Don’t waste time waiting for inspiration. Begin, and inspiration will find you.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.
- “If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.” Anne Tyler
- “There’s an awful temptation to just keep on researching. There comes a point where you just have to stop, and start writing.” David McCullough
- “If you don’t write when you don’t have time for it, you won’t write when you do have time for it.” Katerina Stoykova Klemer
- “Start before you’re ready.” Steven Pressfield
- “I get a lot of letters from people. They say “I want to be a writer. What should I do?” I tell them to stop writing to me and to get on with it.” Ruth Rendell
- “Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.” E. L. Doctorow
- “If you wait for inspiration to write; you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” Dan Poynter
And a few quotes from authors to inspire you through writer’s block:
- “Failing to write everyday doesn’t mean that you’ve given up, though a chapter a day – keeps writers block away!” David Batterson
- “Every writer I know has trouble writing.” Anne Tyler
- Do the work. Steven Pressfield
- “I rewrote the ending of ‘Farewell to Arms’ 39 times before I was satisfied.”Ernest Hemingway
- “Writing is talking, except you get the chance to edit what you just said.” Bangambiki Habyarimana“
How do you go about conquering writer’s block?
Do you use one of the above? Or do you have another to add? Share your system with us in the comment section below.
We’ve looked at what writer’s block is, and some of the ways to deal with it. Then we looked at what 12 best-selling authors had to say about writer’s block and how they dealt with it. But surely the old maxim is true:'Prevention is better than cure' applies to writer’s block. Click To Tweet
Do you believe in Writer’s Block?
Famous writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway have all admitted they’ve struggled with writer’s block. They obviously found a way to deal with it, or we wouldn’t have the books they are famous for.
Other writers say there is no such thing. I did a Google Search on “Famous writers on no such thing as writers block” and found pages and pages of articles.
I was never sure what I believed as it was not a problem for me. I think I bought into the idea that “Writers write” and the cure to “Writer’s Block” was to sit down and write! I have often made comments like, “If you’re a nurse, you don’t just decide one day you’re not going to look after patients for a few days. You may not feel like nursing. But you’re paid to nurse, and so you nurse! If you’re a secretary, even if you don’t feel like taking minutes, if that’s part of your job you have no option. You take minutes. If you are a . . . You get the picture!
Why procrastinate? Well, we have many months of days and hours in which to do all the things that need to be done, right? So what’s the hurry to get started?
This is especially written with writers in mind, but hey! It can apply to any one of you who are reading this post right now. How do I know? Because you followed the link! You read the title! You saw the word: Procrastinate! And you knew it was for you.
So let’s get started. After all, we have plenty time right?
April Fool Pranks
They are not just for schoolkids. Here are some that were played by large companies:
In 1957, the BBC published a report of farmers in Switzerland experiencing a record crop of spaghetti. Amazed spectators watched as the farmers harvested noodles from trees. Eager pasta-lovers phoned the radio station to find out where they could get these trees.
In 1996, the fast-food restaurant chain, Taco Bell, announced it was going to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. Thousands of worried citizens phoned to confirm this shocking news.
Newly widowed Shelby Kincaid decides to move with her two young daughters to the small town of Misty Willow to live in her family’s old homestead.
She knows there is going to be a lot of work getting the abandoned home to the condition she knows it can be. It is the only place where she ever felt she belonged, and she longs to have her children grow up in touch with their heritage.