Just write…in pen!


Listography (making lists of things) is a new fad which is proving a popular moneyspinner. Basically, you make lists of things in an autobiographical way.  It is not necessarily meant as an aid to writing, I guess, but if it is, then try a cheaper way of avoiding writer’s block/seeking inspiration.

Writer’s Block

When we struggle with something, it is well worth trying to think a little differently about our approach.

You must all remember this from Willy Russell’s Educating Rita.

“In response to the question ‘suggest how you would resolve the staging difficulties inherent in a production of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt’, you have written, quote, ‘do it on the radio’ unquote!”

It is succinct to the point of over-simplicity but also useful. Think about the problem…and try an innovative way of tackling it.

I once attended a talk by the charming Cornish-based writer, Patrick Gale. The reality, he suggested, may be that we are stopping the creative process, by using a computer, instead of a notepad, pen and ink.

He first writes in pen, not on a computer, enjoying the blank page, the writings, the crossings out. To him, a page of writing is a start to the creative process. A page of word processing denotes the end of the creativity, and, I guess, the slog of getting things ready for a publisher.

So, what some of us with writer’s block may be missing out on is writing as a sensual, creative process.

Getting a decent pen and pad of paper is a simple writing tip to try (which listography expensively taps into).


Stop writing lists and get on with writing something useful like a story, a letter to an old friend, a blog post, or simply keep a diary…imagine!



2 thoughts on “Just write…in pen!

  1. Writing in pen or pencil, or writing something different from what you are “supposed to be writing” can be good ways around writer’s block.
    I loved your comment about money spinner. It is amazing what they will market to us (things we already have). Someday, probably sooner than later, there will be a 40 dollar book called “Scrap Paper” and it will be blank on one side, but random things on the other–as in what we already use. I bet it will fly off the shelf.

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