Beating Writer’s Block with a 3 x 5 Index Card

A note card from last year’s 407 class.

“If you’re having writer’s block, write the words “Writer’s Block” on a piece of paper, burn it, and flush the ashes down the toilet.” – Bill O’Hanlon, The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, pg. 186.
Whether novice or bestseller, all writers struggle to find motivation from time to time.  Many authors have tricks and tips to push themselves forward.  In our class, we used Raymond Carver’s advice on finding inspiration for a Noveling Blog assignment:
Isak Dinesen said that she wrote a little every day, without hope and without despair. Someday I’ll put that on a three-by-five card and tape it to the wall beside my desk. I have some three-by-five cards on the wall now. “Fundamental accuracy of statement is the one sole morality of writing.” Ezra Pound. It is not everything by any means, but if a writer has “fundamental accuracy of statement” going for him, he’s at least on the right track.”
Students were to take ten quotations from writers in The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing that best inspired them and post them on the blog.  They were also encouraged to share their favorite quotations on Twitter.  Here is a sample of the quotes the students picked:
“Write. Rewrite. Revise. When not writing or rewriting, read.  I know of no shortcuts.” – Larry L. King, pg. 190
“Anything that smacks of the obvious or the contrived spoils the mood and takes the reader out of the world you’ve created.” – Karen Dionne, pg. 201
“I try to write a certain amount each day, five days a week. A rule sometimes broken is better than no rule.” – Herman Wouk pg 189
“If my doctor told me I only had six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood.  I’d type a little faster.” – Isaac Asimov p.177
If you have an inspiring quote to share, let us know in the comments!
– Lauren Burch

One Comment on “Beating Writer’s Block with a 3 x 5 Index Card”

  1. Maye says:

    It's trite I know, but it works for me: "JUST DO IT!" -Nike

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