Procrastination vs. Writer's Block

Author:
Publish date:

Hi Writers,
There's a great piece in Slate "It's All in My Head" by Jessica Winter, that attempts to make a distinction between procrastination and writer's block focusing on the work—and lack thereof—of famous writers of the past such as Truman Capote.

Here's an excerpt:
Neurologist Alice Flaherty attempts a working distinction between procrastination and block—the fearsome Orthrus of the creative process—in her 2004 book The Midnight Disease: The Drive To Write, Writer's Block, and the Creative Brain:
"A blocked writer has the discipline to stay at the desk but cannot
write. A procrastinator, on the other hand, cannot bring himself to sit
down at the desk; yet if something forces him to sit down he may write
quite fluently." But don't these two scenarios amount to different
performances of the same role? Every seasoned procrastinator loves to
tell himself that, amid his flurry of avoidance strategies—rearranging
the furniture in his office, pitching himself into a YouTube rabbit
hole, surrendering to a fit of self-Googling—his brain is secretly
marinating ideas and hatching plans. (As the underground narrator of Invisible Man
puts it, "A hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt
action.") Surely this percolation process is also happening inside the
"blocked" writer, even if he's motionless in his swivel chair?

My goodness, think of the trouble Capote et al. would have had if they had the Internet!

Keep Writing,
Maria

Stohlman_10:31

Five Reasons to Write Flash Fiction: Understanding the Literary Love Child of the Short Story and Poetry

In this article, award-winning author Nancy Stohlman breaks down the difference between flash fiction, prose poetry, and short stories and explains what keeps readers on the hook.

Amir

The “Secret Sauce” Necessary to Succeed at a 30-Day Writing Challenge

In this article, author and writing coach Nina Amir lays out her top tips to master your mindset and complete a 30-day writing challenge.

Kane2

Crashing Into New Worlds: Writing About the Unfamiliar

Award-winning crime author Stephanie Kane explains how she builds characters unlike herself and navigates their worlds to create vivid and realistic stories.

plot_twist_story_prompts_without_a_trace_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Without a Trace

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character leave without a trace.

WDVintage_10_29

Vintage WD: The Truth about True Crime

In this article from July 2000, true crime novelist and former New York Times correspondent Lisa Beth Pulitzer shares with us some key insights for breaking into the true crime genre.

new_agent_alert_barb_roose_books_such_literary_services_adult_christian_fiction_and_nonfiction

New Agent Alert: Barb Roose of Books & Such Literary Management

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Barb Roose of Books & Such Literary Management) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

Grinnell_10:28

Evoking Emotion in Fiction: Seven Pragmatic Ways to Make Readers Give a Damn

Evoking emotion on the page begins with the man or woman at the keyboard. Dustin Grinnell serves up seven straightforward tactics for writing tear-jerking stories that make your readers empathize with your characters.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 546

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a spooky poem.

Richard_Shadowlands

Learn Better World-Building Strategies Through World of Warcraft and the New Shadowlands Expansion

WD editor and fantasy writer Moriah Richard shares five unique ways in which writers can use World of Warcraft to better build their worlds—without playing the game.