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Just write it

December 27, 2012

There’s this old Dick Van Dyke Show episode that has Dick deciding to write a novel, but he’s suffering from the worst kind of writer’s block. He sits around and can’t get the book off the ground. He drives himself and his wife crazy. Finally, she suggests he goes off by himself to a remote cabin. Of course, this only leads to a comedy of errors. He can’t get the book started up there either. He picks up things around the cabin to play with. At one point, he finds a gun belt with six-shooters and cowboy hat and walks around the cabin pretending he’s an Old West gunslinger. In short, he finds every reason he can to procrastinate. He sets up a crate next to his writing table which he fills with crumpled up papers – his aborted writing efforts. His wife finally comes up to the cabin and rescues him from his misery. He decides he’s not a novelist and goes home with his pretty wife and his tail tucked between his legs. Okay, this is a TV sitcom, but it makes a good point. Instead of just sitting down and writing his damn book, Dick thinks and ponders and agonizes and gets nothing done. I have a pretty strong suspicion the creators of this episode had an idea of how painful writing can be. Of course, writing doesn’t have to be that way at all. The best writing is fast writing. You can always edit later. Image

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