The Secret to More/Better Writing? Stop Trying.

My advice to people who think they should be writing more but for some reason aren’t? Quit Trying.

Struggling to write doesn’t mean you lack discipline or inspiration. It means you’re not writing the right thing for you. It means you’re trying to write what you think “writers” write. You need to forget that; trying to be a “writer” guarantees that your authentic creative self won’t only not participate, it’ll shut down the whole effort before you’ve sharpened your pencil.

It’s not about making yourself write. It’s about discovering what, for you, writes itself.

“Writer’s block” is just your heart refusing to go where your brain is insisting it should. It just means that you need to dig deeper, be braver.

Don’t stop your inner artist from joining my Facebook fan group!

Exciting news about my wife
Free concert (and then some) in North County San Diego this Saturday afternoon
Priest denies confession to girl desperate to tell her secret
Book giveaway: "Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic" by Nora Gallagher
About John Shore

I’m in the final stages of finishing a novel. If you’d like to be kept up on what’s happening with that, subscribe to my personal newsletter (which is different from subscribing to my blog—and is how, increasingly, I communicate with my readers). I send out my newsletter using MailChimp (so your email address remains safe and secure); I would never sell your email address or use it for junk mail; unsubscribe with the click of the button. (May 9, 2015)

  • TL

    Hello, I recently discovered that what you are saying in this post is very true. I have been struggling to finish writing projects for years. Until recently, I have discovered that writing from my subconscious mind about something that has been eating at me works wonders. Having grown up with domestic violence and alcoholism, well, needless to say, I have a lot stored up within me.

    I started writing a letter to my deceased mother about my life growing up in that environment, and within a few weeks, I had written about 30 pages – single typed. Because I have so much more to say to her, I can see this letter becoming a possible book.

    We shy away from things that hurt, but these are also the things that heal, when we write about them. I can relate to your comment about "Writer's block" as well. And I agree, I refused to look at my life, and so heal in order to become the Writer that I desire.

    I find that I don't have to "try" to write this letter, for the memories are there as well as the feelings, and experiences that caused me much pain. I would advise anyone to take a hard look at what you are trying to avoid, subconsciously, and write about it. It doesn't mean that you have to share it with the world, but it will certainly get your writing juices flowing.

    Great post! Thanks.


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