The Author’s Switch – CARMA Spence

The Author’s Switch – CARMA Spence

The Monster Method for Busting Through Writer’s Block [The Authors Switch Classic]

July 28, 2021

You've been sitting at your desk for hours – possibly days – and just can't get the words out. Writer’s Block isn’t fun, it isn’t pretty, and it certainly isn’t an excuse so that you can twiddle your thumbs. In this episode of The Author’s Switch, I going to share what writer’s block really is, and a framework that can help you bust through it forever.

Runtime: 19 minutes, 26 seconds

Partial Transcript for Episode 19: The Monster Method for Busting Through Writer’s Block
NOTE: Due to some ad libbing, this may not be an exact transcript.

Writer's block is a frustrating phenomenon that can happen to any writer – even famous writers such as Leo Tolstoy, Stephen King and J.K. Rowling have experienced it. I, myself have experienced it. Writer’s Block makes you feel like there's nothing in your head, no ideas for stories or articles and it can seem impossible to write anything that matters. It can even make you feel like you’re suddenly stupid.

In this episode, I’m going to talk about the following things:

* What writer’s block is
* The six types of things that cause writer’s block
* And my Monster Method for Busting Through Writer’s Block

If you were to search the internet looking for a remedy for your writer’s block, I’m afraid you won’t find much that is of any use. I’ve done some extensive research and here’s what I’ve found:

Most of the articles are lists with only 1-3 sentences of suggested advice per tip. Light on details, mostly fluff. And not much information on whether the advice is backed by research or not. Some are just lists of quotes from authors sharing what they’ve done.

After noticing this, I decided to do a semi-scientific study of what was available. I pulled the top 14 articles that promised to provide advice on how to beat writer’s block and analyzed them.

* Only 11 provided advice.
* Of those, 52% of the advice addressed creative issues and 26% addressed mindset.
* The remaining 22% were a mix of physical, emotional, or multiple cause solutions.

What I found most surprising, and, frankly, most disappointing, was that the most common piece of advice was some version of, “suck it up and stop worrying that you’re not good enough.” But not one of the articles gave any indication of how to do that.

In addition to the very poor selection of usable advice for overcoming writer’s block, I found a lot of articles that basically said writer’s block didn’t exist. How could this be, you might ask when there are famous cases for it?

Well, those who don’t believe in writer’s block say it is:

* A myth. That the writers who claim to have it really have something else and are misnaming it.
* An excuse. That the writers who claim to have it really are lazy or unprofessional and are hiding behind this romantic label.

As I dug into this, I began to realize what was really going on. Because of many things that have gone on in literary history and in Hollywood, Writer’s Block had begun to be thought of as a thing in and of itself, as if writer’s block were a malady, in its own right.

But it’s not.

Writer’s Block is a symptom, not a disease.

You would no more say, "A sneeze does not exist, you have a cold," than you should say,