David Duchovny stars in the TV series, “Californication” as a blocked writer with a variety of interpersonal and emotional challenges. The first season of this series depicts a talented, successful author with impulse control issues who hasn’t written for years despite the agonized pleas of his agent, ex-lover and others. Instead of writing he spends his time drinking, screwing, getting into fights, trying to be a parent, and desperately trying to win back the affections of his ex, who is about to marry a less colorful but more stable man.
The ‘blocked writer’ is a common theme in movies and literature, Continue reading
Some writers work in a very disciplined, consistent way, yet seem to get no closer to the finish line. One issue that can be connected to this problem is excessive editing of first drafts. This approach makes the experience of writing slower and more stressful.
Significant mental energy is required to solve editing problems while simultaneously trying to generate ideas. Elements of perfectionism are commonly associated with this premature microscopic scrutiny of the fine points of an early draft. Frustration, doubts, fears of failure, Continue reading
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Why Blocked Writers Need a Book of the Dead
Chapter 2 - Death is Inevitable; Writing is Not
Chapter 3 - Know Thyself
Chapter 4 - Past Lives and Write Now
Chapter 5 - The Grateful Blocked
Chapter 6 - Motivations for Writing
Chapter 7 - A Room, Womb, or Tomb of One’s Own
Chapter 8 - House Training the Writer Within
Chapter 9 - Procrastination: The Sickness Unto Deadline Continue reading
I will be speaking at this year’s Ojai Wordfest conference in Ojai California.http://ojaiwordfest.wordpress.com
Here is the writeup:
1pm – “Overcoming Writing Blocks and Procrastination” at the Ojai Library 111 E Ojai Ave., (805) 6461639 | FREE | It’s not uncommon for writers of all levels to experience difficulty with producing the written word. Problems such as procrastination, perfectionism, fear of criticism, anxiety, poor time management, imposter feelings and binge writing can impair professional, creative and personal fulfillment. Learn specific strategies for identifying and resolving writing blocks and restoring the flow of writing. | Spanning 25 years at Stanford University and as a psychologist, David Rasch has been working with writers who struggle with blocks, procrastination, and other writing productivity problems. Author of The Blocked Writer’s Book of the Dead, Rasch is former president of the Central Coast Writers Branch of the California Writers Club and most recently, was crowned the winner from more than 160 entries at Ojai Art Center Literary Branch’s February 2014 ‘75 Word Story Contest.’
Are you a real writer? There is no final answer to this question, only your own beliefs. My definition is; as soon as you write or type that first word, you are a writer. Many blocked writers wonder or obsess about this question at some point or another. “Am I a real writer?” Well… what does it mean to be a real writer? My definition is; as soon as you write or type that first word, you are a writer. Others believe that a ‘real’ writer is someone who is published. With the massive increase in online publishing and self-publishing recently this definition really needs to be retired.
The dark musings and apprehensions that underlie the question are an interesting issue. To identify oneself as a writer is not a simple feat. Many of us have been brainwashed in our impressionable formative years to believe that ‘real’ writers possess some magical talents that we could never aspire to, or that they are a dissolute, impoverished dreamers who refuse to live a normal life. If you think you have to already be a ‘real’ writer in order to justify our spending time doing it, you might end up with a nasty block.
In the end, though, it doesn’t matter if you are a ‘real’ writer, however you define it. If you want to write, then do so.
I’ll be reading my winning story, “Thief of Nothing” at the Ojai 75 Word Story Contest event on March 10, at the Ojai Arts Center, in Ojai CA. Also reading will be the second and third place winners, and three honorable mentions. More about the event here:
Clearly, the personal challenges associated with being a writer are not trivial. In my experience, to have at least occasional problems of some sort with beginning or sustaining writing is more the norm than the exception, even for writers with experience and success. If writing never seems difficult, you have indeed been blessed (but I would counsel you not to speak extensively about this blessing in the company of other writers).
Coming next: The Varieties of Writer’s Block, and what you can do