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Musings and mind leaks... Typewriter

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  1. WRITER'S BLOCK is something that people often ask about. At two recent literature festivals I heard at least 4 authors have the question of writer's block and how to cure it asked of them. They all gave different answers, all valid. Here's mine: A very wise person once told me this, and I think it's the best advice on the subject. (I will now paraphrase wildly...) Writer's block is not when you have nothing to write about; it's when you have too much to write about - too many ideas, concepts, revelations, whatever. What then happens is that you get so full up that your mind becomes constipated - yes, that's right! Just like eating too much cake, and I speak from personal experience of cake. So, what do you do when you become constipated? You need a purge! It's like clearing out a blocked wastepipe. First you've got to get out the solid lumps that are causing the blockage, then you flush the remainder through and suddenly you have a clean channel for fresh...umm, processes! And how do you this with writing? I've found the best the thing to do when you feel blocked is to sit down and just write...anything at all will do. Write a stream of consciousness, a shopping list, a letter to somebody, absolutely anything to free up the stuff in the pipes and get it moving. It doesn't matter if it's a load of crap (did you see what I did there?) because you can chuck the first load of stuff in the bin...or down the toilet if you prefer! If you still feel blocked, write some more. Absolutely anything. After a short while your channels (and your mind) will start to feel clearer, and perhaps a little fresher. When they do, get out a clean sheet of paper/open a new document in your computer and off you go. You'll then be in a much better position to catch the new stuff that's trying to come through you. Have a go. I've done this lots of times and it works. So, don't fret if you have writer's block. It's a good sign. Much better than feeling completely empty, isn't it?