Larry Roth gave an inspiring presentation last night at the monthly meeting. His talks are always humorous and uplifting, and they often make us think. This time he talked about what is stopping us from becoming the best writers we can be – what blocks us.
We often have excuses for not writing, or not publishing, or not marketing our work. These excuses sound valid to us, but Larry explained how they are flimsy and emerge from fear. Excuses are a form of resistance.
He talked a lot about morals and beliefs. Are we trying to preach our morals and values when we write a character? If we want to convince someone of something, the best way is for the character to change. This is difficult because we’d have to write a character that in the beginning has different values from ours so they can evolve to have the values we want them too. If we have never changed our values, (or walked a mile in someone else’s shoes) how can we write authentic, believable characters and not just caricatures? Answering these questions can only make us better writers.
If you are blocked as a writer, is it possible that your beliefs are holding you back? Do you believe you can never write a book? Or like me, do you think you are horrible at marketing? These are opinions, and they can be changed. Thanks to Larry’s talk, I am going to work on those beliefs that are holding me back. Perhaps I will blow them up.
Larry suggested a couple of books that could help writers become unblocked.
- Writer’s Block Unblocked by Mark David Gerson
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
He also quoted a lot of great authors, but I will end with the quote he ended his presentation with last night.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”