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Reality Blog: Hard Hats, Boots, and Writer’s Block

Reality Blog: Hard Hats, Boots, and Writer’s Block

April 26, 2017 | By Steve Maurer | 3 Comments

Reality Blog: Beating Writer’s Block with Hard Hats and Boots

Sooner or later, most writers face that fearsome demon called writer’s block. No matter the type or format of writing, it rears its ugly head at the worst time.

For a long time, I wasn’t afflicted. In fact, I’d actually concluded it may be a myth. But, one dark and gloomy night, writer’s block came knocking. And in that moment, I finally understood the angst.

So, I set out on a quest to find ways to combat this literary monster. Bound and determined to discover the one magical spell to vanquish the beast, I read everything I could lay my hands on.

Other writers described their battles with writer’s block. Many of the solutions presented appeared sound. I would try one whenever I was afflicted. The results were mixed, at best.

What I found was no single remedy cured every instance of this creativity-killing disease. And some had no effect on me at all. So, I began to experiment, mixing one potion after the other, concocting a mix that would work for me.

And then, I had a breakthrough.

What follows are two of the formulas I use, both to defeat writer’s block and to inoculate myself against it.

One in particular I’ve found quite effective. I’ve not read about anyone else using it. However, for me, it’s one of the most powerful weapons in my arsenal.

In fact, I’m using it right now.

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Steve Maurer

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3 Comments

  • Hey Steve, Great article. I believe in what you say about not facing a blank page. One trick I’ve learned is to put a header on the page before I actually start writing. I use the following header on everything I write:

    Submitted by: (Type your name)
    Project: (Client name – Topic of content)
    Date: (Date submitted to client)

    Not only does it help me identify the particular piece for tracking and filing, but it avoids facing a blank page. For some reason, it helps me get started.

    Thanks for all the info you share Steve!

    • That’s a great way to do it Christine! I do something similar, by inserting the headline and sections right away. If I’m really stuck, it’s literally:
      TITLE
      [STORY]
      [POINT 1]
      [POINT 2]
      [POINT 3]
      [CONCLUSION]

      But usually, I can come up with a generic headline/title that at least tells me what I’m writing about.

      Then I usually do a quick Google search and copy in some URLs that looked handy. Then I simply save and close the file. At that point, I find the info I just looked at starts to marinate and when it comes time to write, I can do it. If I’m really up against a deadline, I’ll still save & close the file and do something non-work related like check Facebook, read the latest sports news, etc. When I come back to that file, the info has still been churning away in the background and I’m able to come up with something.

  • Steve,

    This was just a brilliant article.

    I love the line “What would the guy under that hat want to know?” and I am already using it mentally when I write.

    Such a simple yet genius way to keep you focused on what the reader needs to hear.

    Absolutely inspired by this post!

    Thank you,
    Nan

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