How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 62

I could probably end my Anti-Writer’s Block Blog in (180-62) 118 days if I simply wrote a tip a day from BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott. Everything you want to know about writing, both emotionally and craft-wise, is in that book. But as I write these “tips”, you have to realize they represent what I myself am learning and relearning, what I Need to Remember, as I tackle my own project. So lifting tips from Anne wouldn’t really get anyone anywhere, would it?

So now I will proceed to lift an important tip from her, and throw it out there at ya.

I am at a moderately beginning stage of my novel, where it is so helpful to remember her concept of “short assignments” during my daily writing stints, rather than thinking of the whole giant Thing itself. So I write little paragraphs here and there describing things I need to know about: a scene of this or that. A description of part of the setting. A character’s introspective take on something. Lamott suggests trying to imagine fitting your assignment into a one-inch picture frame. Just get something SMALL AND SHORT down. Each day.

Very often those assignments morph into gold, brilliantly shining on part of the path I need to take, especially in later drafts. The main point: get it down.


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