Curing Writer's Block by Overcoming Your Ego

Everybody suffers from the malady of writer's block from time to time.  The core problem is judging.  Overcoming writer's block requires letting go of your ego for a moment and being willing to spew a lot of garbage, deferring judgment.

Here are a few tips for getting the poetry writing machinery going again.
  1. Make a deal with yourself:  You are about to write for 15 minutes, and if it's all crap, that's just fine.  You will sort through it after
  2. Above all, do not judge anything at this point. Set a timer.  Write.  Don't stop, just do a stream of conciousness dump, if it's all drivel, don't worry!  Grab the nearest concrete object if you have to, and start to write descriptively, and let your mind relax and start to wander.
  3. After the time is up, see what good you can make out of the big mess you just made.
  4. Now revise it.  Revision warrants a few more words:
I studied poetry under the current Poet Laureate of Iowa, Mary Swander, and her methodology is to revise her poems at least a dozen times before showing them to others.

So if a poet of that talent feels the need to revise a dozen times, I personally believe that I should be revising quite a bit more.

I hope that helps get your writing going again!

Did this help?  Matt


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