The difference between success and failure often lies in bouncing back and re-igniting the artistic fire we need to work. So how exactly can we bounce back into creating? Fred Waitzkin, author of Searching for Bobby Fisher, says bouncing ideas off his wife (or anyone, really) helps:

I have a couple of friends that I rely upon. They are very perceptive about the human heart. I’ll talk quite specifically about what isn’t working in a section of my book. I listen closely to what they think. I’ve done this many times. My wife Bonnie has helped me many times like this.

Here is the curious thing. Often her advice or the idea of a friend isn’t what I end up doing. But listening to the ideas engenders a new idea. The whole point is that you have to get moving. Movement begets movement. You need to get unstuck.

The principle is to do anything that builds momentum. For example, if it’s writer’s block, and you truly can’t write – then tape yourself talking/ranting/raving about a subject, then type it out in a word processor. Talk to a friend about your concept. Or, lay out the overall structure of the piece.

Defeat your analysis paralysis by moving. Just make a move.

  • Tama L

    Great idea, Herbert! Talking with someone and bouncing around ideas with them does work out well for curing writer’s block. I love those moments when things just click and a story falls into place when all I was doing was just…talk.

  • SharonContemporaryArt

    Tie reminds me of the old adage: “You don’t sing because you’re happy….you’re happy because you sing.” I recently read that neurologically, you can fool your brain into a desired state by acting the way you want to be. It works. Now I just need to do it.

    • K

      Yes. There was a talk on ted about impact on person through practicing right body moves. But i really think that it is not so easy to do.

  • spectroscopicsorceress

    This reminds me of something that Piers Anthony wrote about. Basically he didn’t believe in writer’s block, he believed one had other ideas and thoughts, just not about the story currently in the works. He would keep writing what was in his head but put what wasn’t part of the story in brackets. His assistant would separate them for him to read later. He wouldn’t allow himself to stop writing, he just kept moving forward.

    • Sean Blanda

      That sounds fascinating. Do you have a link for that story?

      • spectroscopicsorceress

        Oh, no link – I read it years ago, either in one of his forwards or in Bio of an Ogre, his first autobiography.

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