Turds and Diamonds

26, March,2010

I’ve just been reading Mur Laffery’s blog post, Diamonds and dandelions.   She outlines two approaches to success: the take your time and get it absolutely perfect approach, and the pump out lots of stuff and some of it should stick approach.

I like the post but I think Mur misses the essential precursor phase – Elephant Turds and Rabbit Turds.

The Elephant Turd phase is where a writer takes 15 years to produce their magnum opus, and it’s just a huge turd.

If you have had multiple stories knocked back by everyone including free online magazines, you are in the Rabbit Turd phase.

Like all turds, both of these are not for consumption. They do however, if used correctly, make great fertilizer for future growth.  The trick is to know the difference before you stuff it in an envelope to a publisher.

All the various articles/blogs/podcasts I come in contact with mention writer’s block at some point.

Does it exist?  What do you do about it?  Writing your way out of it?   This sometimes overlaps with the issue of finding/making time to write.

I personally find the quickest way to writer’s block is having an enjoyable life.  When I go home and I want to spend time with my family, my job stimulates me to the point that sometimes I sneak into my study in the evening to check my email.

When I sit down to write it can be an effort, I’m not sure where I was up to, the ideas don’t seem to flow, and you know, I don’t care because I’m having a good life.

I’m a dilettante writer, there’s no publisher knocking at my door.  My artistic emo soul isn’t being tortured by my lack of muse.

So if you find youself blocked, maybe you should look around and thank the fates for blessing you with so many distractions.

Now, go clean up the shed, it’s good for your soul.