Friday, July 15, 2011

Writer’s Block (Part 12 of 16)

More on Writer's Resistance: Our Values

Writing against our values is the way I say it. Some people have laughed, but I'm convinced that we do that. Sometimes good writers take on a project because the publisher wants them to do it. I've almost gotten caught up in that. I felt flattered when the senior editor of a publishing house came to me with a writing project. "I know you can do it and do an excellent job."

I loved hearing those words and I agreed. But something didn't feel quite right. For the next two days I struggled over that decision. I finally called the editor, told him how much I wanted to work with him, but I couldn’t do the book. "It goes contrary to my values."

He wisely listened and said, "I understand."

By contrast, one of my friends received a large advance for a book that he couldn’t write. He finally broke the contract and his relationship with the publisher. He told me, "I was writing something I did not feel, did not believe, did not care about, and I avoided writing what I did care about."

When we try to write against our personal value system,
our wise inner critic tries to block us.

2 comments:

  1. I've experienced this, but couldn't identify exactly what was going on inside me. A friend suggested we do a book on a topic he believes in, but I don't. He had done most of the writing and I would edit and polish things. I couldn't bring myself to do it. Now I know why.

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