The Cure for Writer's Block

I get asked all the time: "How do I get over writer's block?" As someone who's made a living writing for several years now, I can tell you that there's a simple solution.

No, really.

Are you ready for it?

Just keep writing.

That's it. Just write. Whether you feel like it or not. Because at its core, writing is work. Does the electrician not wire your house because he's not feeling "inspired?" Does the plumber not fix your toilet because he can't generate ideas? You wouldn't accept this from any other profession, so why is it acceptable for you?

And if you can't do the work, maybe it's not the field for you. That's okay, the world needs accountants, carpenters, electricians, engineers, and nurses. All honorable jobs, probably moreso than writing. There's too many writers already, go do something you're better suited for that people need.

I've written plenty of articles and book chapters when my inspiration was dead. Was it my best work? No, but it wasn't that much worse than my best work. At least in writing, people don't stray far from their aptitude level unless they really work at it. You might do a little better, a little worse, but the important thing is to get it done.

The first job of the carpenter isn't to make your house pretty. He first has to lay the foundation and set the studs so you can have a wall. Concrete and 2x4s aren't pretty, but that's what drywall and paint are for. It's the same with writing. Frame the house (write the words) and then you can make it pretty later (in editing).

So stop making excuses and get back to work.