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Writing Tips

Andrew Pyper: Writer's block? No such thing

Novelist Andrew Pyper on the myth of writer's block.

If you didn't show up to work for a week, and, when asked by your boss for an explanation, you answered 'I had job block,' she'd fire you on the spot, right? Keep this in mind the next time you're tempted to use the 'writer's block' excuse to explain why you're not working. Because here's the simple fact of the matter: there is no such thing as writer's block. Don't believe me? Ask your doctor.

Okay, okay, even I admit it: there are days when the creative tap only drips. Here's a tip: put aside the Big Project for a few hours, grab a notepad and pen, and head outside. Be a reporter. Don't write fancy sentences or big ideas or pretty metaphors. Just describe what you see and hear in straightforward reportage. Transcribe an overheard conversation on the streetcar. Describe the clothes someone is wearing at the bus stop. List the items the guy ahead of you has in his shopping cart. Just... write. It's amazing how the physical act of translating the seen and heard into words can open things up, and get you back to the Big Project with the taps wide open."

Andrew Pyper is the author of the bestselling novel The Demonologist. His previous books include The Guardians, Lost Girls, The Trade Mission, The Wildfire Season and The Killing Circle.

Photo credit: Existing Light

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