Monday, April 21, 2008

How To Ward Off Writer's Block

“The second that I think that I have a fear of writing, (I think) ‘No, no, this is just a joyous thing to sit down and tell a story,’” he said.

This is the strategy of writer and fourth grade teacher Ross Modlin, as reported by Cameron Macdonald in The Elk Grove Citizen in Elk Grove, California.

I like simple strategies the best. The complicated ones just seem an additional burden.

This one is flexible because we could take the beginning of the sentence and finish it with anything that needs unsticking.

For example: This is just a joyous thing to design a new course...to begin the revisions that will make this piece so much stronger...to draw a picture....

Also, note that Modlin uses this thought the instant he notices fear coming on.

(The teacher who helped me the most toward becoming a writer was also named Modlin--Mildred Modlin, teaching in Wilmington, NC in the 1960s. So I'm predisposed to thinking this fellow is offering good advice.

One other auspicious sign: Elk Grove was a home base for many gold miners during the Gold Rush. Of course practicing any art is a process of mining for the gold.)

So today's work is just a joyous thing: to go digging for gold, in the company of other miners scattered here and there about the land.



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2 comments:

Debra w said...

Looking forward to seeing the treasures that you unearth, Peggy!

Peggy Payne said...

Ever so slowly, Debbie... Thanks.