Writer's Block? Get over it.

Writer's Block may feel real but its not.

Many people say they want to write a book but most make it to chapter three and then decide it's too hard to finish. And when I say most I mean 98% of them. So you think you are part of the two percent who can make it to the end of the novel and at least say you finished. But halfway there you discover you can't figure out how to keep going. Your get up and go has got up and left.

You say you have writer's block. You say you can't find your muse. You are having trouble producing material and its gone on for weeks. Well it's time for some tough love. Writer's block does not exist. Like the mythical phoenix or magical unicorn, its existence is only in the mind. Its power can appear real to new writers but once you know the truth, you will never be bothered by it again.

It is the convenient excuse of writers who are afraid, unwilling or unable to put pen to paper because of an internal conflict having nothing to do with their ability to write. Sometimes its self-esteem, others its fear of success and in others a fear of failure, so here is the prescription you need.

Treat writing like you would anything else you HAVE to do. You have to go to work or to school. Being out gives you a failing grade or you get fired from work. Simple as that. NOT writing means you WON'T produce any work, no book, no short stories, no anthologies, no results. That may not spur you on but if you say you want to be a WRITER, if you produce nothing you will definitely not accrue the title.

Writing is work. Writing is a craft. Think of writing the way a blacksmith thinks of swords. If he does not get metal, carbon, fire, and hammer to come together in a controlled, rhythmic and focused way, he will NEVER produce a sword. When he was an apprentice (or she) those first swords were likely terrible. They probably broke when stressed, metal chipped, and could not likely maintain an edge. Overall work? Disgraceful.

As their skill increased, they managed to first create the shape of a sword, then to increase the strength and resilience of a sword, then the flexibility of that sword and then last and most importantly, the ability to take and keep an edge on that sword. Writing is no different. While you are learning to make that sword, you have the additional burden of knowing what a good sword looks like, feels like and you know YOURS isn't it. Makes it even harder to keep pushing when you would much rather quit.

Putting words on a page is easy. If you went to school you have been taught how to make words and create simple sentences that say what you want and allow you to get it. But like sword-making, writing is a craft. Writing is not about getting what you want. Writing is the art of making something, usually a story, out of nothing, the creation of a thing of beauty designed to fire the imagination of someone who reads, hears or perhaps if you are lucky sees, your work.

Crafting that work will take more than mere words, it will take the right words, evocative words, alliteration, hyperbole and other tools of the writing craft. These are the things that make writing more than just putting words on a page. And don't be fooled by the rewards of the industry, plenty of good writers create bad work and are rewarded, and plenty of supposedly bad writers are secretly creating masterpieces that will not be rewarded or even known about until after they are dead. It has happened before and will likely happen again.

You do not write to be famous. You do not write to grow wealthy, though both of those things are certainly nice.

You write because you cannot help it. You write because your urge to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is an overwhelming desire to CREATE, to CRAFT to bring into being something you feel, no, something you KNOW is beautiful to you and to anyone else who sees it. If your skill is not up to the task, it will not get there sitting around talking about Writer's Block.

My advice: Stop waiting for inspiration. That works fine for Poets. They can afford to be inspired. If you want to be a Writer, then go out and CREATE something beautiful, because you cannot see yourself doing anything else.

Writer's Block is for the weak. There is a word for writers who never quit, never give up, never surrender: PUBLISHED.

Thaddeus Howze Atreides [@ebonstorm]

The End

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