How to Solve This Problem

For the past month and a half I have been listless and ill-tempered, struggling to get out of bed in the morning. I haven’t wanted to write. I haven’t wanted to leave the apartment, to do much of anything. Dust accumulated in layers, enveloping pictures and knick-knacks like future fossils, insects frozen in amber. Bedsheets remained at the foot of the bed like tangled ghosts. Everything just seemed like so much effort.

On Sunday, I finally finished the poorly-written book I’ve been reading for the past month and a half.

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  1. You need to change your environment. Force yourself to go out to a local coffee house with your laptop and a dictionary, turn off your wifi and just crank out 3000 words.

  2. Have you read “Bird by Bird”? I am halfway through it right now. It makes you want to write SO MUCH. Also, it confirmed that the way I used to think writing was supposed to happen, was right. College made me think it was wrong. But it was right.

  3. Thanks for the recommend! I’m debating my next book right now: I think you just sold me.

    I went to college for the writing workshops, and left college a bitter woman.

  4. Seriously. As a kid growing up all I wanted to do was make stories up in my head and use all the wonderful words I knew to write them. Then I went to college and suddenly I needed to worry about story arcs and metaphors and character development and themes. I was too scared to write again for a long time. I still can’t write the way I used to when I was 13, which kind of sucks. I think you’ll like this book a lot.

  5. I could be wrong, but I think the Toth book is generally considered to be somewhat untrue.

    I don’t know if that makes you feel better or worse or the same (or you already knew it), but there it is.

  6. Yeah, I was reading an article about that after I’d finished the book. I think it would have made me more willing to stop reading and move on. Ah well.

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