Fear

Writer's block is like lawyer's block or housekeeper's block. It is based in fear and uncertainty. If you are alive in the world and paying attention, you know that fear and uncertainty are inevitable aspects of everyday life. The choice is whether to succomb to the fear or write through it. I suggest that you acknowledge the reasons for your block, the fears that stymy your writing, and then write through them.

Eventually, it does not really matter why you are not writing. Not writing has an obvious antidote: writing.

Writing Practice

Freewrite. Get a pen and a piece of paper. Sit down anywhere. Forget your novel or that essay you've been working on for three months. Set a timer for ten minutes. Choose one of the prompts below and write. Don't stop. When the timer rings, stop. Set it again. Choose another prompt and go. Repeat the process a third time.

• Ferris wheels

• Girls in their short

• I remember orange

• Centuries before

You've just written for 30 minutes. That's six times the five you started with. Set a goal to repeat this exercise every day for a week. Change the prompts if you like or use none. A half-hour of writing a day is a good way to give yourself back to the practice.

Essentially, this entire guide is a movement through writer's block. The exercises you've been doing all along are designed to help you approach writing from various angles. Go back to some of your previous exercises; repeat those that were useful to you.

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