THE BLOG
10/06/2011 01:50 pm ET | Updated Dec 06, 2011

Ten... No, Five Strategies for Beating Writer's Block

10. Hmm, where to begin... well, I suppose it would be best to begin with a solid tip. Yep. Something that lets everyone know this is a list that isn't to be fucked with... a real dynamo of a tip. The John Holmes of tips for beating writer's block you might say. Yesssireeee, something good. Open with "A material" right off the bat, that's the ticket...

9. Maybe smoke some weed or something... I'll be honest, this list is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

8. Don't smoke weed! I just did, and now all I can think about, man, is eating some popsicles and taking a nap on the couch. Wow, I guess this tip is... like... that one amendment, man... that one that... you know... negated the other one... man.

7. Okay, so I just took a nap on the couch. I DO recommend that. I feel rested. And sharp. Sharp as a... sharp blade. Ready to write. Ready to teach! Okay! So a good strategy for overcoming writer's block is... is... man, I wish I had some more of that weed, this sucks....

6. Alright, I've got it! A good tip for overcoming writer's block is to hold your breath and then have someone scare you... wait... no, that's for hiccups. Damn. Hold on -- let me try it and see if it works for writer's block too... no, it doesn't. And now, for some strange reason, I've actually got hiccups...

5. Keep writing. That's one! That's a good one too! Man, I should maybe put it at number one, but I've got to try and salvage the middle of this list if I can. So there you go. Keep writing. No matter how terrible the words you put on the page, they are still words on the page. Obviously you'll have to go back and change them at some point; there is no "padding" in novel writing (unless you're goddamned Tom Clancy), but they will stand as placeholders while you sort out your other, more pertinent demons.

4. When in doubt, sex it up. If you hit a wall, guess what? That's the perfect place in your story for a hot, nasty three-way. Not only will a looooooooooong sex scene knock 20,000 words off your quota, but a three-way is a perfect forum for introducing an exciting new character -- especially if that new character is a busty, double-jointed bar wench with daddy issues and a really long middle finger. Yeah, I'd read about that.

3. Did someone say Deus Ex Machina? What better way to spur on your period novel about several generations of a long-suffering Romanian peasant family than with a sudden and unexpected alien attack? Or, one of the peasant children is suddenly granted magical wishing powers by a passing asteroid! Ooh, spooky!

2. Shift the narrative. One chapter we're reading about Kimmy, the sensible teenage orphan who's working her tail off to get into a good college so that she can come back and give her fellow orphans a better life. The next chapter, it's suddenly all about a wacky rapping robot who somehow has been transported into Jesus' time, and ends up as the loose-cannon 13th apostle. Hell, you might even be able to make the two stories sync up in the end... maybe that robot ends up being Kimmy's long-lost father?!

1. Give up and get a job somewhere in middle management. Look, I'll be honest. This writing thing is hard, competitive work with a zero sum gain. For me to win in this business, you must lose, and I'll be damned if I just handfeed you piranhas a pound of my sweet, buttery flesh. If you have writer's block, realize that no matter what you write from here on out, you're going to develop reader's block.

Your rank, amateur tactics to dig yourself out of the plot holes you've buried yourself in, will doubtlessly be so transparent that me and every other swinging dick with access to the so-called "blogosphere" will devote more time than we ought to, mercilessly shredding your innermost hopes and dreams.

Why? Because lambasting you will be a diversion from my own writer's block. Save us both the hassle; I hear IKEA is hiring seasonals. Hiccup.

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