On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Four Life Blocks

Holly Lisle describes four blocks in your life that can prevent you from writing (as well as other things):

SAFE -- in small doses, playing it safe is a good thing. For example, it might be smarter to study for your exam than go out to play. However, if you're too *SAFE* in life you will never break out or take risks to do something exciting and individual. You will live your life in a bottle rather than learning to do what you, and you alone, were meant to do. Push yourself to do things that are uncomfortable for you.

PERFECT -- it's important to do a job well rather than slap-dash it off. However, perfectionism can prevent you from actually finishing a job. NO ONE can do everything perfectly, all the time. Even with unlimited time it's not possible to be "perfect" because we are imperfect creatures living in an imperfect world. Furthermore, we learn from our mistakes. Set time limits and finish the task well, badly, or indifferently, then move on. Otherwise you will never grow and create. Give yourself only ten minutes to do a writing task, for example, and you won't have time to make it perfect.

VICTIM -- we all suffer from physical problems and slights from interpersonal relationships, and these are not fair. However, if you dwell on these problems, what you deserve, and how you are being ripped off, rather than moving ahead, you have moved into a victim mentality that leaves you feeling helpless and unable to do things for yourself. Interestingly enough, many politicians and advertisers try to convince you that you are a victim so that you will empower THEM, by your vote or money or actions. List all the things you are grateful for -- including material comforts (refrigerators, toilets) and all the people who care about you. Think on these things, instead of what you DON'T have.

FEEL -- It's important to be able to feel -- say to give sympathy, or mercy. However, the human animal is made to THINK as well as feel. If you don't objectively evaluate claims and decisions you will be in trouble. It's a spunky and adventurous thing to fly to Paris for the weekend, but this might not be the best use of your resources (time and money). If you don't have the money you're in even more trouble -- you can use your credit card, of course, but then you have to repay the money with high interest. When anyone makes a statement, evaluate it. Will that makeup REALLY make you look ten years younger? Should you REALLY buy insurance because a cute gekko tells you this is the best kind? Balancing the thinking and feeling axes makes you a complete person.


These attitudes are helpful to consider not just for writing, but for life. I have to admit myself to being guilty of some of them. Hope you find them helpful to ponder also, and happy writing!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent advice, Amy, and psychologically/practically insightful too.
    And yes, thinking as well as feeling, and intuition balanced by good sense and reason. But not intuition ignored!