Is discipline necessary for success overcoming writer’s block?
Writer’s block is often a symptom of a lack of discipline.
This thought will help to place writer’s block in perspective. After all, it’s an excuse—sanctioned by the notion of inspiration—for not getting work done. Writing is a job that has a number of requirements and stages, and each in turn must be approached with discipline—a respect for the inner exigencies of the tasks. To approach writing otherwise is to be overwhelmed with all there is to do. Lack of discipline is often the source of writer’s block. Indiscipline is an enemy of lifewriting lying in wait for you.
Develop Vivid Characters
- Are the characters your memoir going to bore—rather than impress—your readers?
- Are you at a loss—“Help! What can I do!”—about how to make the people in your memoir more interesting?
- Are you embarrassed by the “stick” characters you have presented? “She really was a complex person, but I don’t know how to show her that way.”
Some people successfully use the notion of writer’s block to convince friends and family that, while they’re real writers, they just happen not to be producing—but a person can do this only for a while. Remember: you can never successfully use writer’s block to get your stories written! Just as any craft person develops a series of approaches that lead to greater production, a lifewriter can do the same. If you create a work-like approach to your writing you will find yourself writing regularly and writing a lot.
Blocks are not a problem to writers who recognize the many tasks necessary to their work and succeed at accomplishing them.
Combine art with métier. Inspiration with approach. The moments when inspiration visits are usually not a problem! It is easy to write then. Inspiration is a gift, an exciting experience. It is a time when you are as a god, capable of all thing, creating from your own center.
But these moments are too few and far in between for you to depend on them to meet your writing goal. To succeed, you need to approach your writing as a metier, a trade, that has its own habits and practices to be respected if you are to succeed. With workmanlike habits, you will not be troubled by writer’s block.
Write your memoir for the love of it.
In a capitalistic and materialistic society, the accepted raison d’être for writing a book is often to make money. Of course, making money need not be discounted. But money is not the only gauge of an activity’s success. Many activities in life worth doing have no monetary value attached to them and cannot be quantified as such.
Sometimes the only meaning you can derive from a work is in the doing of it; sometimes the only meaning in writing is for the writer—you. Even if you would very much like to sell your work, you must still write for yourself. Isn’t it important enough a reason to do something because it feeds your soul? Neglecting your soul, you may find yourself really blocked.
Good luck writing!
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