Talker’s Block -or- Who the Hell am I to Give Writing Tips?

You ever have one of those days when you wake up and find yourself unable to talk? Of course you don’t because there’s no such thing as talker’s block. It’s a made up condition invented by Seth Godin who uses it to illustrate the absurdity of the all too real writer’s block.

According to Godin, we don’t get talker’s block because most of us are okay with talking less than brilliantly. And because we’re not afraid to talk, we get plenty of practice.

Practice is the cure for writer’s block. Here’s Seth Godin’s prescription for practice:

  • Write every day. Or as he puts it, ‘Write like you talk. Often.
  • Share what you write, that way you also practice vulnerability and accountability.

Seth’s Talker’s Block has a special place in the DNA of my own blog. It’s the writing prompt that convinced me to practice publicly, and stop waiting for inspiration. I started the Blog the Block series to give myself a place to practice starting and finishing and–to borrow a Godinism–shipping a piece of writing on a regular basis. If I focus on writing tips, it’s not out of a guru-impulse or some enlarged sense of authority like you can find at pretty much any address following three ‘W’s, but an effort to think as clearly as I can on a given day about the particulars of this craft.

Other days I just need a kind ear.