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Friday, September 30, 2011

Real Writer's Block

There are three types of writer's block. The first is the one most commonly thought of, that a writer gets blocked because they run out of things to say, or they run into a thorny point in their plot.

The second type occurs once you're done writing your book. Now you have a finished product and you need to market it, either to a publisher, or as is becoming more common nowadays, directly to your audience. The block at this stage is rejection. Maybe no publisher wants to publish you, or no agent wants to sign you, or even worse, no reader wants to buy or even finish your book.

All of this leads to the third and most deadly type of writer's block: despair. This is when you forget why you're a writer and start to wonder if you're just wasting your time.

But if you look at any writer who's made it, and most of the ones who are now invidiously famous, you'll see a pattern. First came rejection, then came . . .

Persistence. They kept going even when they felt like giving up. Here are some good examples that should encourage you to keep going even when it seems like you should just quit:

Danielle Steel: Published her first book right away, but next five went unpublished. She persisted and the sixth book found a publisher again.

Steven King: While writing his breakthrough success, Carrie, King became discouraged with his work and threw a partial of it in the trash. His wife encouraged him to finish it and the book later earned a paltry $2,500 advance. The paperback rights subsequently earned $400,000.

John Grisham was rejected 25 times before his first novel found publication.

The stories like these are endless, but they all go to show that you should never give up. If you try hard enough and persist long enough, sooner or later you'll get there.

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