6. The art of taming your dragon

An honest confession about writer’s block. I have it in some form almost every day. Probably not the smartest thing to admit on this blog, but I’m doing so in order to let you know that you’re not alone. This is the dragon known as ‘Fear’ that rears its ugly head from time to time in the minds of most writers, and I am certainly no exception. But the great thing is, I can honestly say that I have tamed my dragon and it’s allowed me to be a successful working writer for nearly twenty years. I know how to send the dragon crawling back into its cave, and I now see its fierceness as a true companion and very useful partner in my work.

 

During the initial stages of developing a story, your dragon will threaten to kill any chances of creativity. Its voice echoes inside your head telling you that you’re no good, that your story is no good and that you will fail. This is the time when you need to shove him or her into that cage and lock the door. Any successful project or story begins with a pile of scattered and disconnected ideas and you need to make sure you give yourself complete freedom to let your ideas come as they come. Creating great content and writing great stories takes time and it is the journey from the initial chaos towards solid strength and form that makes one a writer. There are many stages in this journey. Some of them will require your dragon to be locked inside the cage. Yet at other times, you’ll let her out (on a lead of course!) and she will prove to be your best editor.

 

As for today’s tip… OK this may sound weird, but give your dragon a name. If you think you don’t have a dragon… well, I’ve never met a successful writer who doesn’t, and the first step in taming him is to name him!

Image: Maria Starus/shutterstock.com

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