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Selective Writer’s Block

February 8th, 2013

Don’t think I haven’t been writing. I write for fun; poems, short stories, questions and observations on life; I post them on my blog.

I write for me; great epistles on the meaning of life. And for like-minded people a modified, selected and edited version of the same is regularly published in a local magazine.

Speculatively, I write scenes that may one day be part of a novel. But for my tutor, I’ve written nothing for months. And the great reading public have been treated to only a couple of letters.

I’ve been doing the Writers Bureau’s Creative Writing Course for almost a year and I’ve earned £10. I write 1000 words most days but the assignments bleed me dry after 100. I walk down the road with great ideas that the computer reduces to three short sentences.

But I’ve come up with a plan. Well, more of an idea for an experiment; I want to test the idea that it is lack of a clear image of the readership that stands in my way. I know the people who read our magazine; they make comments on what I’ve written, even those who have moved away but still receive it have come up to me whilst visiting friends to say how they value it. It’s only an online knowledge, but I know who reads my blog. The potential novel is for a couple of friends.

From a marketing point of view we know it’s no use working in a void. Aim an idea, a style, at a particular magazine, is what we’re taught and, really, it’s little more than common sense when you think about it. But I don’t find that the market analysis done as an assignment exercise translates into the image of a reader in my mind. It is too clinical, theoretical, hypothetical.

I’m beginning to think that I need a more personal image of who I’m writing for, not for the marketing aspect, but for the actual writing. I need to either find out a lot more about the editor than just a name and picture or discover people I know who actually read the magazine I’m targeting so that I can address real people in the creative thinking stage.

Maybe, once there are real people in view instead of writing into the void of a ‘reader profile’I’ll find I do have something to say on the assignment subjects after all.

ros squires
Having been back perusing the Student Forum again recently, I’ve had no trouble writing this which would seem to add weight to my suspicions about the root of an extremely selective writer’s block problem. Has anyone else had a similar experience and if so, how have you overcome it?

Ros Squires is a Writers Bureau student and you can read her blog at http://rosaliesquires.wordpress.com/

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