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Outwitting Writers' Block: And Other Problems of the Pen Paperback – October 1, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

If you've ever found yourself staring at the blank page all day, or cleaning out the refrigerator for the fifth time in a week just to avoid seeing that taunting, blinking cursor, then you've experienced writer's block.
Outwitting Writer's Block will help any writer break through the dreaded block and become a more creative and better writer than before. Filled with exercises designed to jump-start creativity and encouraging tips from fellow writers and instructors, this book is like Drano for clogged creative pipes.

About the Author

JENNA GLATZER is the founder and editor of Absolute Write (www.absolutewrite.com) and was the Editor-in-Chief of Writer Online. She has written for hundreds of national, regional, and online publications, including Writer's Digest, Woman's World, and Salon. She is the author of five books, including Slaying The Anxiety Dragon. Her work has appeared in anthologies, including The Moment of Truth: Women's Funniest Romantic Failures. She is a producer, playwright, and optioned screenwriter.

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Product Details

  • Series: Outwitting
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 1st edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592281249
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592281244
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,168,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This author makes you feel like she's known you forever. She seems to pick up on amazing universal truths about writers that I didn't realize were universal truths until I read the book. For example, she writes about professional jealousy and how she would work herself into a tizzy when another writer-friend "trumped" her, or when a writer who wasn't very talented got a big break. I had been feeling so guilty for having these feelings about my own writing-friends, but now I realize that even more experienced writers still feel that way and it's normal.
But better than that, she offers such a wide array of "tricks" and tips for beating writer's block that something HAS to work! If the first method doesn't work, try a different method. She doesn't advocate just one thing, which is the problem I had with a different book about writer's block (the writer just offered one systematic solution. It didn't work for me, so the book was useless). With this one, I had to keep putting it down every few pages to scribble down new ideas it gave me.
That was amazing. I had been feeling uninspired and like I was running out of new ideas, but this book made me realize how to open my "writer's eyes" and find ideas in everyday circumstances. It energized me, like jumpstarting a battery, so I felt compelled to actually write down my ideas and start drafting them instead of letting them sit in my brain until I forgot them.
It's such a personal book and manages to weave effortlessly between humor and serious issues, even making me laugh when the author is discussing a very painful experience.
I think the biggest strength of this book is that it teaches writers to let go of all the guilt and burdens they have placed on themselves, or let others place on them.
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By A Customer on November 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
I gave myself two days to read through Jenna Glatzer's "Outwitting Writer's Block" and found myself on the last page within a few hours. This book deals with the nuts and bolts, get-your-hands-greasy-changing-the-flat-`cause-you-didn't-renew-the-AAA-membership approach to overcoming the creative block and also gives insight into the likely deep seated psychological basis from which the block may stem e.g. it just may be your defense mechanism for self-preservation. Don't go to a shrink next time - plunk down the money for this book and Jenna will be beside your couch, gently guiding you through the emotional hurdles that lie between you and your creative potential. It's a kind way to put your harsh inner critic to rest and let the blank page be a "blank canvas" on which you are being invited to play. The fear of writing might just be your friend trying to warn you about something from the past - and it's about time that this fear is addressed and turned into creative fuel. Her suggestion to form a mental literary triumvirate of a critic, an advocate, and a pragmatist is a very useful tool to balance the left brain, the right brain, and the checking account. Power of positive thinking and visualization are some additional aids to keep the critic at bay. The basic message is simple: ultimately, writing is an end in itself and is its own reward; the writer needs to move towards self-validation rather than external validation.
It is a well researched book and I would recommend either highlighting the websites and books recommended or jotting it down in your "dirty notebook" (see, you just did it! You wrote down something!).
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Format: Paperback
Glatzer has an exceptional talent. She has writing experience that smacks you in the face with its authenticity. She says, "Writers block is really more a case of opportunity knocking and you having your radio tuned up too loudly to hear it." (p. 10) and then goes on to explain how you might benefit from the big WB.
Glatzers's book sets an example for writers because it is fresh, carefully crafted, and entertaining. There are, to be sure, other books that address writer's block but this one is far more fun and less dogmatic than most. These are the fraternal twins that let this volume fill a much-needed niche in advice books for writers.
Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson. ...
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Format: Paperback
If you've ever found yourself staring at a blank page all day, or doing mundane chores over again just to avoid that lost feeling, then you've experienced writer's block. And Jenna Glatzer says, "That's good news - it means you're a writer!" Even highly successful writers can't avoid this problem, it's like failure, it happens and we learn from it. What's more important, is that you learn how to manage it.
I believe all writers should now celebrate, because Jenna has written a humorous and practical guide that is chock full of tricks of the trade, versatile tools, and writer's block busting exercises that tackle this problem from all angles.
It's worth more than a quick read, I plan to keep my copy close by so I can refer to it when those 'moments' happen, and more importantly, I consider most of her strategies to be a proactive way to increase my creativity and amount that I write.
I interviewed Jenna Glatzer on "The Inside Success Show" and was captivated by her charm and wit. She's dedicated and a great example of how to proactively manage problems, not just hide from them.
Here's some other things I learned from Jenna:
** How Jenna Glatzer went from art to acting, and then finally found her creative outlet in a professional writing career!
** What determines when an idea isn't going to work (in advance)
** Why you need to rid yourself of myths and rules to write well.
** How to apply relaxation techniques to get back into "the flow"
** What 3 things you can do optimize your performance as a writer
** And much, much more ...
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