– John Rogers
Geraldine Brooks‘ debut novel, Year of Wonders has been translated into over 25 languages. Brooks won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, March. Her Caleb’s Crossing and People of the Book were New York Times best sellers. When chatting with Brooks at the National Book Festival, I asked how she handled Writers Block. Here’s her answer [applies to any fresh start],
Why do we never hear of hairdresser’s block, or auto mechanic’s block? Or even sculptor’s block, for that matter. Why are writers the only workers on earth who are allowed to have a “block?” I’m sorry, but you need to get up and go to work, like every other person on the planet.
Some days are more productive than others. So what? When there’s no wind, row. When you find you can’t make art, practice craft. Just as a bricklayer can always pick up a brick and lay it next to another brick, a writer can pick a word and place it next to another word. Just as, some days, the bricklayer’s wall will go up straight and true, some days the sentences will be fluid and laden with meaning.
Some days, the wall will be wobbly and uneven, and will require the use of a backhoe and new beginning. Some days the writing will be stale and meaningless and you will throw it away and start over. But from seeing what didn’t work, you will have a better idea what might. The important thing is the daily effort.
You cannot just check out and refuse to write because your aura is on crooked or the mot juste is unarriving. Find some other word, for the time being, and row onward.
Many successful writers [Ernest Hemmingway, James Baldwin, Gene Fowler] have said that there’s nothing to writing once you wipe the blood from your forehead. Fortunately, this post’s video shows how start-up writing can be much easier, less painful, fun, even hip.
Write. Share your thoughts. Along the way,