Listening to Seth Godin's podcast - the episode entitled "No such thing (as writer's block)" - it rang many bells.

He states that writer's block is a fabrication, a construct we create in our own minds as an excuse. The real problem is fear, fear of not being perfect.

I've written so many times over the past four years that I just want to escape the need for perfection, to allow myself the freedom to be just okay - or even bad - and let things work out for themselves.

They usually do.

As Seth says, it's not that we don't have enough good ideas but that we don't have enough bad ones. We don't have enough thoughts to commit to the page or, rather, ones that we are willing to give life and permanence to.

I maintain that we are our own inspiration; the more we do the easier it is to do better. We merely have to be willing to take the bad with the good - the former doesn't need to go beyond our own notebooks but we must overcome the fear to open the floodgates or these bad ideas will dam the flow.

It is the same fear that gifts us imposter syndrome - the feeling that we are a fraud, that we are not good enough, and that at any moment someone is going to expose us for what we really are.

It is the same fear that makes me wonder what the hell I'm doing trying to write a book.

I have to overcome that fear and not think of it in this way. I have to approach it as writing a number of different pieces, perhaps expanded blog posts, as to picture the whole is too daunting.

  1. devilgate says: #
    Charles Stross has written to the effect that when he gets blocked it's always his subconscious telling him that he got something wrong earlier. He needs to go back and rework things to move forward. Not the same as what you're saying, but it sounds sensible to me.

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