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Tuesday Tips: Seth Godin on Writers Block

22 Jun

“Ever see a plumber who has plumber’s block?” asked blogger, marketer, and author Seth Godin recently in Boston on his book tour for Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? “Or a talker who has talker block? No! So? No writer’s block. It’s part of who you are.”

He makes it sound easy, doesn’t he? I think what he means is that we humans are storytellers–it comes naturally to us, it’s part of who we are as humans. And what’s a blog but a place to tell our stories? We just have to pick one and start!

However, I know most people experience writer’s block. For some people, it is constipatingly painful. For others, it passes quickly. What do I do about writer’s block? What do I suggest YOU do?

The main trick for me as a blogger is to find something I want to talk about, that I’m ready to talk about. And talk–tell that story! If you can’t blog that brainstorm right away, draft it so you don’t lose it! Which leads me to my second trick…

A second tip I have as a blogger is to write a draft for every idea I have or I come across. I even have a draft post for winter solstice 2010 that I wrote in January 2010! It’s all scheduled to publish!

So when I come across interesting material on the web, I use the “press this” WordPress app or I cut and paste the URL along with the information and my comments about it. If I find a blog post I like, I can use the WordPress “like” button.

Sometimes we have something we HAVE to write for a deadline. I have two tips for that. The first tip comes from John McPhee. If you’ve ever noticed his prodigious output, you may wonder how he could ever have writer’s block! What he does is write a letter: “Dear Mom, I’m writing a piece about grizzlies in Alaska and I’m having the most awful time! What I’m trying to say is…” At some point he says he stops writing a letter and he has a draft in hand.

The third tip comes from Natalie Goldberg. She recommends writing practice where you write on a regular basis on whatever you want. Then when it’s time to write something IMPORTANT, you’re already warmed up and connected to your “wild mind.”

My Tuesday Tip from earlier this month from Anne Lamott works here too: as she points out, we all write sh*tty first drafts.

Curious where the Seth Godin quote came from? I’m a big fan of Seth Godin’s blog and his books, so when I saw this tweet

@bostonmarketer Love Seth Godin? Here’s my summary of his talk the other day: http://bit.ly/bSMpjt

I followed the link to Rachel Levy’s blog where she posted her notes from Seth Godin’s recent visit to Boston to promote his new book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?.

11:24:51 AM: Ever see a plumber who has plumber’s block? Or a talker who has talker block? No! So? No writer’s block. It’s part of who you are.

She also quoted him saying:

11:23:21 AM: Do you ever get tired of blogging? No.  All blogging is to me, is to write down what I’m noticing.

which, you will notice, will be the subject of a future blog post!


One Response to “Tuesday Tips: Seth Godin on Writers Block”

  1. Rachel Levy June 22, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    Glad my post helped inspire yours!

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