Writer’s Block: “It’s Artificial.”

Movie Cover or Non-Movie Cover?

One of Parini’s books. Movie Cover or Non-Movie Cover? (Photo credit: Robert Burdock)

That quote comes from Jay Parini, poet, novelist, biographer, and teacher at Middlebury College in Vermont. In an interview from the fall about his experiences with writing, Parini talks about overcoming writer’s block (which he’s never had, by the way!), and gives some advice to new writers.

Here’s some more of his thoughts on writer’s block:

If you’re blocked, you shouldn’t be writing. You should be fishing. Or mowing the lawn. Or fixing things. Or anything.

Check out the rest of the interview at Jon Winokur’s blog, Advice To Writers, and then come back and let me know what you think! I’m sharing my thoughts below (that’s my version of a “spoiler alert”).

Some of the most poignant advice came from Parini’s advice to new writers. He says the trick is to find a time where you can write, uninterrupted, and guard it with your life. He also said that if you spend that time reading, it’s okay. He makes a great point about the connection between an author’s reading habits and writing habits that I wholly agree with. If I can’t find anything good to read, I’m kind of indifferent to my writing, which isn’t good for productivity!

I can also connect with his thoughts on writer’s block. It’s true that whenever I really feel like my writing is just not coming to me, it’s usually because I have school work, errands, or other things on my mind that are making it hard to be creative. Some of my best writing came during my holiday from school – I got three solid, ready-for-the-editor chapters finished in six weeks!

What are your thoughts? Do you feel that your writing is connected to your reading? Do you believe in writer’s block?


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