My “virtual guest-blogger” today is the wise and wonderful Miriam Sagan, who provides thoughtful insight into why “Just write!” — a common bit of writing advice — isn’t the universal writers’ panacea that many suppose it to be. ;- )
Why “Just Write” Isn’t Exactly Sophisticated Advice
Although I’ve benefited from this advice—and no doubt given it—I’m starting to think it isn’t specific enough. And that’s because advice could be more tailored to who the writer is:
1. A professional or well-trained writer who feels “blocked.”
2. A person who has “always wanted” to be a writer.
3. Someone suffering from writing anxiety.
I have no idea how I learned to write. I can create a romantic version of my experience—dyslexic failing elementary school, strict but kind teacher, discovering poetry, etc. etc. But this may all be hindsight.
And so, “just write” may be good for the person who knows how to write but just can’t at the moment. This approach tends to the quick and spontaneous, to overriding self criticism, and to productivity. However, as a person who “wrote” at least three failed novels, I can say that filling…
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