The Myth of Writer’s Block

by writerswrite1


By Amanda Patterson, author of Writers Write – How to Write a Book

If you write one page a day you will complete a 365-page novel in a year.

You are crippling yourself by not starting to write. If it seems an overwhelming task to write a whole book, start with an opening paragraph, then a page, then a chapter. Your first sentence is the first step to being published. Most people who want to write have the belief in their creative success systematically driven out of them – by the business world, by their family, their ‘friends’ and their life experiences.

If you were told you were going to die tomorrow, would you regret not having written?

These are the most common excuses we hear at Writers Write:

  1. Family: I have children. I’m the family taxi. I have to be there for my husband/wife.
  2. Work: I work long hours. I’m too tired after a day at the office. I have to work overtime so that we can afford a new car / bigger house.
  3. Time: I’m too busy. I’ll do it tomorrow / next month / next year. I can’t write late at night / early in the morning.
  4. General: I’m not inspired. I’m too old/young. I’m too tired/depressed/sick.
  5. Our Favourite: It’s not what you know but who you know in publishing

You can have your book or you can have your excuses. You can’t have both. 

All of the above are obviously important but don’t fool yourself – writers write; pretenders to the throne make excuses. The reasons for not writing are laziness and lack of self-discipline.

Do you really want to become a writer?

Writing is lonely. Writing is hard work. Writing is discipline. There is no quick fix and there is no one to applaud or to criticize you. You will be your own boss and you will have to motivate and reward yourself. And after all of this you will face the possibility of rejection – the dedicated writer will not stop here.

Remember: You have permission to write badly. (In your first drafts, of course)

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 by Amanda Patterson

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. To find out about Writers Write – How to write a book, or The Plain Language Programme – Writing courses for business, email

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