As someone who has been writing since I was 9 years old, I’ve dwelled in a writer’s block or two.
My worst case of this dreaded bug was a few years back. After spending my late teens/early 20’s drafting some novels, I eventually went down different career paths that led me to things like making pizzas, teaching students how to ballroom dance and hosting magical events for Disney. I got so busy, focused on these potential career paths, that I completely gave up on the one career that I’ve always envisioned for myself.
I left my unfinished novel on my computer for so long it got cobwebs. No sudden bursts of inspiration, no stories begging to come out, no desire to reach the words The End.
But that all changed with a single video.
As an avid fan of Carrie Hope Fletcher — enjoying her as a Youtuber and admiring her as an author — I’ve always tried to never miss a video.
But with my bustling life as a pizza cook or magic maker or whatever I was at the time, I fell behind on my Youtube subscription box.
I found myself with a rare day off, sitting down with my lunch to finally catch up on my favorite Youtubers.
A Dan and Phil and a Zoella later, I was watching Carrie do a Q&A in front of her pretty purple wall.
After talking everything from West End to Disney, Carrie was asked about her advice on writer’s block, and her answer would change the course of my career.
In her beautiful, British accent, it was along the lines of: if you only write when you feel like it, you’ll never finish the book.
Those words struck me. It was like being knocked in the head by a fellow writer, waking me up with the advice I needed to hear. After that, I did the modern day equivalent to picking up the pen, dusting those cobwebs off the old Word document and typing away.
And I’ve been writing ever since. Because only writing when I felt like it turned into never writing a word.
But once I pushed myself to get out what was just a draft, it made me want to do more. It was like spending the tip I got pressing my luck on a scratcher, then emptying my entire wallet to the lottery. Except, I always won.
So, in Dory terms: Just. Keep. Writing.
If it wasn’t for Carrie’s advice — so simple yet powerful — I may not be even writing this right now. I might be symmetrically placing pepperoni on a pizza or box-stepping around a ballroom floor. But instead, I’m here, pieces of my writing appearing on various platforms, querying my novel to agents and with a growing Youtube channel of my own.
I’d love to hear what the best writing advice you’ve ever received is, so be sure to let me know in the comments!