Why do we have writer’s block? Where did that term come from? Writing used to be hobby, that thing you did in your spare time, for fun, especially before the 1940s (when the term writer’s block was invented). When writing is a hobby it’s not a big risk project. When it’s a hobby you do it without expecting a loan or being in the top 10 on Amazon.
Today, of course, we’re all writers. We’re all writers because we put our ideas into 140-characters and share them with tribes—any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. Our messages and ideas spread because the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time.
So, what I’ve noticed is that the thing we have a habit of, we never encounter an issue with. That’s exactly why I blog everyday because I want a lifestyle, a habit, of shipping a solution out the door to intersect with the marketplace. The habit of talking is the reason we don’t get talker’s block (compliments of Seth Godin). We all talk without a lot of fear. Talk is cheap. Talk has a short shelf life. Talk is what you’re about to do. Talk can be easily denied. No one ever gets talker’s block.
We talk incorrectly or sometimes, we talk properly. We improve at talking because we talk. We analyze what works and what doesn’t, and if we’re insightful, we intentionally do more of what works. How can someone acquire talker’s block after practicing this much? Don’t we say, “practice makes perfect!”
Now, writer’s block isn’t hard to cure, in fact here’s my phenylephrine for your problem:
- Write like you talk. You don’t have a talker’s block, so you’ll never have a writer’s block. This is the single biggest benefit of blogging to me. It gives me the opportunity to refine my talking and writing. With this you’ll never have writers block ever again.
- Just write poorly. If you talk poorly, of course, you’ll write poorly, but both will improve overtime. I grew up with a very serious speech impediment which caused reading and communication problems and for ‘normal’ speech to be disrupted, so if I can improve I know you can. When you start to win at one of these parts, it turns out that this helps you win at both.
- Write in public. Get a blog from wordpress, blogspot, or typepad. Or use squidoo or tumblr or a microblogging site. Use an alias if you like. Turn off comments, because you need more writing, not more criticism,.
- Do it as frequent as possible (everyday). I personally blog everyday, as a discipline. I blog to teach (in writing). When you write make sure it’s authentic writing about how you view the world or what you see in the world or what you want to teach. Explain to us how and why you did something.
If you know you have to write like you talk, about something every day, or week, even 5 sentences, you will never have writer’s block ever again. If you’re concerned over every typo, misspelling, and grammatical error, then not writing is not a problem, because nothing is a zero, perfect and without problems. Nothing is the only way to be safe.
Questions: If you’re a blogger, writer, or even speaker, what have you learned? How do you avoid writer’s block?