How To Write For The Web

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Addressing Writer's Block

Following on from the recent post discussing writer's block and its causes and having taken the first step of recognising that even some of the all-time great writers have at times been afflicted, I will now cover some of the ways of addressing the problem.

Writers like to think of themselves as artists and indeed they are but it is also a job just like any other. We have to work consistently as everyone else does and not only when the mood takes us or creativity seems to be optimum.

Try changing your perception of your vocation and move away from the artist mentality. Instead of considering yourself to be a writer, I suggest you picture yourself as a journalist. A journalist sits at a desk each day and produces a constant stream of work and must regulate him/herself and conform to required deadlines.

You are a professional and regulating your productivity in this manner should ensure a constant flow of work. It may not be your finest, most accomplished material but you are skilled at what you do and you will still maintain quality.

Set yourself a schedule and stick to it. However much time you decide to allocate can reflect your own circumstances but choose a defined amount of time to work each day, sit yourself down at your desk, open your laptop and write. Keep to a set timetable that suits and make no excuses. Select 10am-2pm on a Monday for example and turn up every time. Being late for work or non-attendance is not acceptable in any other profession and neither should it be so for you.

Following these guidelines should help to maintain productivity and in the next post I shall try to assist with the issue of sourcing inspiration. In keeping with the style of this series I've posted a few quotes from prominent writers that are applicable.

Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life. — Lawrence Kasdan

I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. — Peter De Vries

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. — Richard Bach

You have to protect your writing time. You have to protect it to the death. — William Goldman

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster. — Isaac Asimov

Let me tell you about my day. I get up at 8 o'clock in the morning. At 8:30 am, I leave the house and I arrive at my office at 8:37. I stay in the office until 2 o'clock in the afternoon. I get in my Porsche and I'm home at 2:03 because the one-way streets make it faster for me to drive. And between 8:36 am and 2 pm, I'm doing one of three things: I'm writing. I'm staring out the window. Or I'm writhing on the floor. — Thomas Harris

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. — Jack London

No professional writer can afford only to write when he feels like it. If he waits till he is in the mood, till he has the inspiration, he waits indefinitely and ends by producing little or nothing. The professional writer creates the mood. He has his inspiration too, but he controls and subdues it to his bidding by setting himself regular hours of work. But in time writing becomes a habit, and like the old actor in retirement, who gets restless when the hour arrives at which he has been accustomed to go down to the theatre and make up for the evening performance, the writer itches to get to his pens and paper at the hours at which he has been used to write. Then he writes automatically. — Somerset Maugham

You can't rely on inspiration. I don't even believe in inspiration. I just believe in working. — David Long

Get up very early and get going at once. In fact, work first and wash afterwards. — WH Auden

Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work. — Gustave Flaubert

How To Create A Website

Many of my readers are also bloggers and so with this post I am reviewing a friends article which I consider to be valuable insight into the use of social media to create an online presence to drive awareness to your own sites. has for the past few months been conducting what the author terms the Social Media Experiment and the post to which I refer details the strategy he has implemented to achieve 500,000 unique visitors and almost 1,000,000 page views in as little as 3 months.

His philosophy for how to make the most of social media sites closely reflects my own views and I would urge you all to read what he has to say and try to replicate his methods.

Read the original text here.