Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Revisiting Razor's Edge - Writers' Block

I'm happy to report that I am not experiencing writers' block.

But I received an email earlier today from a writer who read a piece I wrote a couple of years ago, which included a link to one of his favorite articles on the topic. (You can read my original post here, from April 2012, Razor's Edge: When Writing Feels Dead.)

The author of the email was Josh Spilker, whom I have never met, but I did click over to the link he provided to a short piece he wrote, 9 Tips To Beat Writer’s Block (Including 1 That Feels Like Cheating). This is a short list of tips and tricks to help kick your writer's block out the door. It's a fun list I thought I'd pass along.

I also wanted to share it because the "controversial" tip is fun and is not often spoken out loud. I have heard it mentioned a time or two, behind closed doors, in the halls. I don't know if I've seen it in print - it probably is somewhere. But it is a nice tip.

The "cheat" has to do with copying. Copying for practice and exercise, "to break the block." It's interesting, because my partner is an artist and I have heard her talk about a traditional teaching/learning technique among artists (really, I'm not making this up!) of copying the work of The Masters. I'm not talking about the "in the style of" paintings, though those do have value, too. I mean really trying to copy a Master's masterpiece to learn about brush stroke, color, line, shadow, and so on. 

Writers can use a similar technique to learn about voice, style, craft, character, etc. Or you can use it to juice the wheels of craft. Click on over to read more about what Josh Spilker has to say. It's worth a few minutes of your time!