Stephen J. Cannell Talks About Writer’s Block – Videos About Writing

by Anne Wayman

Prolific writer Stephen J. Cannell claims never to have writers block. In this short video he talks about what really causes writers to block and how to beat it. I happen to think he’s probably right.

Do you get writer’s block? Tell us about it.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina March 9, 2009 at 11:24 am

Thank you so much for sharing this video—I’ve been struggling with writer’s block when it comes to my personal writing (short stories and novels)….hopefully, this new revelation will help me to get some words down!

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Greg March 8, 2009 at 11:35 pm

:) Great. I’m glad you enjoyed the video I shared, Anne! It’s been the single greatest source of an increase in productivity in my life.

Greg’s last blog post..New Blog Project: Getting Things Done

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admin March 8, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Devon, you and I so often agree!

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admin March 8, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Greg, I’ll use that one next week!

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admin March 8, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Coach Anne (note the e please) – yep!

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admin March 8, 2009 at 7:49 pm

George… that’s a great article… maybe I’ll move it as a guest post if you wouldn’t mind… might change the spacing a bit and get some controversy going. I don’t really believe in wb either – I just write.

Of course, that didn’t keep me from writing 10 Ways To Break Up Writer’s Block or Writer’s Anxiety – http://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/2008/11/10-ways-to-break-up-writers-block-or-writers-anxiety/

Which is simply proof of the theory in one way or another. ;)

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admin March 8, 2009 at 7:47 pm

lol, that’s one of my rules Isaac, although I doubt I’m the only one… I did write about it recently I think, but I can’t find the post… blogs already getting too big ;)

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Isaac March 8, 2009 at 6:49 pm

I heard a rule once that said never stop writing unless you know what you’re going to write next.

Isaac’s last blog post..Interview with Poet Elisabeth Whitehead

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George L Ghio March 8, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Hi Anne
This is the view I have held for many years

Writers Block. Demon or Muse gone bad?

The curse of writers every where. Does it really exist? Can it consume your
soul? Rot your brain? Turn you into a mumbling, mindless fool at the
keyboard?

Why should we believe in such a monster? If it exists, then point it out, shove
it into the bright light of day, expose it for what it is claimed to be.

Well, I’m waiting…

Show me this beast that eats the words from your very mind.

You can’t, can you?

But I can, the face of this ravening beast is as close as your mirror.

Honestly folks, writers block does not exist, except as an excuse not to listen
to our subconscious.

Writers block – Muse, Muse – Writers block, two sides of the same coin.
Everyone wants the Muse and no one wants writers block, I’m sorry, but you can’t
toss a heads every time (well, not unless you use an Australian two dollar
coin).

As writers we all suffer from bouts of not being able to put words on paper
(or screen as may be) but it’s not because of some evil beast spawned from the
nether regions sent to destroy us.

The conscious mind has an ego as big as the Queen Mary. In fact there are
those that would have it that the conscious mind is all “EGO”. What ever the
truth is, the fact remains that the conscious mind is dead set certain that it
is the boss.

But it’s a lot like marriage. In this union we have the conscious mind (male)
and the unconscious mind (female, this is where we get the concept of the
muse).

Let’s take this simile a step further. The Conscious Mind says he is going to watch the
football on the weekend, the Unconscious Mind says CM is going to paint the bedroom on the
weekend. If they don’t come to an agreement then the weekend is going to be a
dead loss.

So you might consciously decide to write, the subconscious says `Hang on a
moment, we’re not ready to write yet.’ Now the conscious mind might insist that
the writing will be done {\bf Now!} So you sit down at the keyboard and\dots
write a line, delete the line, get up, sit down, wipe the counter, fiddle
with the radio, put out the cat, make another cup of tea, let the cat in, etc,
etc.

Yes, we have all been there. And yes, the conscious mind can over ride the
subconscious. And yes, a lot of therapists will buy a new BMWs.

Writers block does not exist.

Ah, but the Muse. She is real. She is the personification of balance between
the conscious and subconscious. To find your muse is to find that balance.

So if you hit a patch where the words won’t flow, relax. The words are
there. They’re just being sorted out by the subconscious. Go and do something
else, anything else. When
the words are ready for use, you will be ready to use them.

But if you let the Conscious Mind’s ego rant about writers block, then for you, it will exist.

George Ghio

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Coach Anne March 8, 2009 at 11:47 am

Aha! Perfectionism shows up in yet another guise… makes sense.

Giving yourself permission (space, compassion, lovingkindness) to write horribly… reminds me of Anne Lamott’s “shitty little draft” in Bird by Bird.

AmpleThanks for this post… may be just the reminder I need to get unstuck & back to my writing.

AmpleHugs & SunflowerSmiles,
-Anne
p.s. We seem to have a plethora of Anne’s here.

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Greg March 8, 2009 at 11:46 am

It reminds me of this video by Stefan Molyneux which has really helped me to be more productive and gentle with myself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1WC6hNTONg

Good post!

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Devon Ellington March 8, 2009 at 10:50 am

“writer’s block” is a luxury for those who don’t make their living writing. I have no time and no patience for it.

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