Writer's block? Sometimes you can begin to dissolve it by looking unblinklingly at the ways you make it worse. But what's tricky about that enterprise is that, lo, you might discover an idea for a story! Today's guest-blog post is by my San Miguel amiga, Eva Hunter, a writer who knows the inside-out-and- upside-downs of this wacky (if you can call it a) business. Eva has been a writing coach for over 20 years, in addition to producing hundreds of literary nonfiction stories, feature articles, short stories and a book, The Lord of the Dolls: Voyage in Xochimilco. Her writing credentials include The New York Times Magazine, Quii, The Quarterly, Northwest Magazine, Oregon Magazine, Portland State Magazine, The Oregonian, Oregon Business Magazine, and the Boston Herald. Currently she is currently writing a memoir about growing up near Las Vegas in the 60s: A Little Mormon Girl. She has taught creative writing as faculty at Portland State University, at the Art Museum School of Portland, and privately in both the United States and Mexico. A popular writing conference speaker, she is co-founder of the Portland, Oregon based Connexus, The Writer's School, and The Writer's Workshop: San Miguel in Mexico. In June, 2010, she started a blog, Professional Writing Coach, which conveys information about the craft of writing. Her weekly series, under the heading "The Craft of Writing" takes the writer from concept to finished product.
Five Ways to Avoid Writing
When I lived in Portland, Oregon, I had a writer friend I called every morning, or— indeed— every time I thought about the particular writing project I was avoiding at the moment. Grant you, this means we talked on the telephone several times a day. One of our regular topics was the imaginary book we threatened to write together: One Thousand Ways to Avoid Writing. Of course we never wrote that book. We were too busy avoiding writing. But what follows is the abridged version. And, of course, one of the best ways to avoid writing is to call someone up and talk about avoiding writing.
1. Investigate 500 potential mates on a dating website even if you already have a mate.
2. Bake a batch of brownies then eat them all yourself, planning your weight-loss diet while you’re doing it.
3. Decide to join Netflicks again, and compile the list of movies they’ll mail you for the next ten years.
4. Plan a trip around the Mediterranean, comparing freighter cruises, air, and land travel.
5. Check out bargain catalogue sites for red boots, (overstock.com, bluefly.com, smartbargains.com) real leather, in your size.
Or write a guest blog for someone.
---> For Madam Mayo's archive of guest-blog posts, click here.