I previously wrote about using TV to help escape writer’s block. Of the programs I watch, my absolute favorite is Louis Schwartzberg’s MOVING ART series. They’re just gorgeous and ever-inspiring.
Imagine my delight when, yesterday, I turn it on and find out THERE’S A SEASON 2 AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX STREAMING!!!
I am probably the only person in North America this hyped about it, but seriously, IT MADE MY DAY!!!
Oh, and May the Fourth be with you!
It’s OK to take a break for a while while you think through (or not think through) a tricky spot. Just remember to come back!
I’ve learned that I get blocked when my subconscious mind is telling me that I’ve taken the work in a wrong direction, and that once I start listening to what my subconscious is trying to tell me, I can work out the problem and get moving again. –Walter Jon Williams
If you give up at the hard parts (“the Dip“), you’ll never get through them.
Never, never, never give up.
— Winston Churchill
Your Inner Critic mostly wants to be heard. The trick is to let him speak–but not to listen too closely (especially when you’re drafting!)
In my own drafts–both digital and handwritten, I use the following technique: If I’m writing along and suddenly my inner critic points out something, I simply insert a square bracket, write its comment, close the bracket, and proceed with the story.
If I’m doing this on the computer, I turn the comment red so it stands out during editing. That way I can review the comments later (some of them may be on to something, after all) when I’m not in the flow of writing. I get to write, the Critic gets heard, and everybody wins.
It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something. ~Ornette Coleman
I love the game Psychonauts for many a reason (MILKMAN CONSPIRACY! also, Sasha Nein), but the studio’s interpretation of the “Inner Critic” really won me over.
Psychonauts is a game where you jump into the minds of different characters and help work out their issues. One level is set in the mind of a failed actress. When you enter her mind, you meet her inner critic, Jasper. He’s a huge ticklike guy, who is snarky and hates everything you do.
At the end of the level, you defeat him in a typical video-game style boss battle. But unlike other enemies, this inner critic doesn’t disappear or die! No! instead he just shrinks…down…to a manageable size.
And to me, that rings true: Your inner critic will never go away. But there are some ways to keep his loud voice from overpowering your desire to write.
If criticism had any power to harm, the skunk would be extinct by now. ~ Fred Allen