Outwitting Writer’s Block and Other Problems of Pen by Jenna Glatzer

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Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Lyons Press; 1st edition (October 1, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1592281249
ISBN-13: 978-1592281244

“If you’ve ever found yourself staring at the blank page all day, or cleaning out the refrigerator for the fifth time in a week just to avoid seeing that taunting, blinking cursor, then you’ve experienced writer’s block.

Outwitting Writer’s Block will help any writer break through the dreaded block and become a more creative and better writer than before. Filled with exercises designed to jump-start creativity and encouraging tips from fellow writers and instructors, this book is like Drano for clogged creative pipes.” ~From the Back Cover

My Review of the Book

A few years back I bought this book, not because I was having the dreaded writer’s block, but because the small blurb in the book catalog mentioned that the book had “tips and tricks” to make me a more productive writer and that was just what I was looking for. So I bought the book, read it in a day, took notes, and have kept it as a reference book at my desk ever since.

I’ve employed some of the techniques she mentioned, such as the messy notebook, writing down ideas and start drafting them instead of letting them sit in my brain until I forgot them, weekly objectives, treating writing like a job, thinking like a writer, and having a mascot to inspire me. I loved her chapter on kicking the Critic of his pedestal and those that address the most common causes of Writer’s block.

 But there is so much more to the book. She teaches writers to let go of the guilt and burdens of writing myths that they have placed on themselves, or let others place on them. She talks about relaxing techniques to overcome the anxiety of writing and “not being good enough.” She talks about knowing when an idea isn’t going to work as opposed to just needing a new approach, or changing the genre. The book is filled with exercises designed to jump-start creativity and encouraging tips from writers and instructors. She provides tools for analyzing the causes and cures for the nefarious Blank Page syndrome, such as stress, lifestyle changes, depression, etc.

I loved this book and highly recommended it to everyone. Jenna Glatzer’s writing style is entertaining, encouraging, and informative. She offers a wide array of methods to stave off Writer’s Block and other problems of pen, which makes it useful to everyone, because when one method doesn’t work for you there are others that you can try. There is something there for every one.