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I don't really believe in writer's block either. But I do go through periods where I hate everything I write, which I sometimes refer to as Writer's Crap. Which even the name of bears itself out.


I do think "Writer's Block" is real. It's a symptom of shitty/lazy thinking. I've had it twice in my life. The first time was when I was in grad school and was writing papers on different subjects in theoretical linguistics. The second time was this past summer as I've worked on my Kung Fu romantic comedy.

The first time I got WB, a prof told me the problem wasn't my writing ability, it was in my comprehension of the subject matter. So I focused on really understanding everything I was writing about and *poof* the writer's block went away. I was able to write a nice MA thesis that was later published.

Ten years later, after writing six features and lots of technical documentation in my software career, I got that old feeling of writer's block. I freaked out for a month or two, then sat down and really tried to understand what I wanted to say with the story. In fact, I drew it out in stick figures - a complete 40-frame story board. And now the writing is flowing.

I have a new theory about writing screenplays and that is: if I can't draw it out in stick figures, I probably don't have a story I understand. Or I don't have a story worth telling in a visual medium. I suspect that the screenplay I'm working on right now will be stronger than the others I've completed because of the drawing step, but it's not done yet so what the hell do I know.


The single greatest thing about the computer as word processor is that whole tracts of Alberta have not been denuded by the millions of throwaway pages I've written because I write every day, dammit, not just when I'm in the mood.

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