This video takes time to reflect on the exercise from the first magic wand lesson, in order to better understand why it can jump-start your writing process.
- Welcome back. So how did the letter go? Did you explain to me or whoever you choose to write to exactly what you were struggling with? Were you clear enough, so even me, who has no background on your project, can understand and relate? I hope so. Now let me ask you a question. How do you feel about the problem now? Does it feel a little more surmountable? Or maybe even, did you get some ideas on how to solve it or tackle it while you were writing the letter? If not, that's okay. This course is jam-packed full of tools and strategies on how to conquer all of your writerly problems. But you might have found, as I often do, that this exercise, which I've called The Magic Wand, actually helps give you some ideas on how to fix your problem. This is a tip that I discovered when writing one of my own novels, The Geography of Lost Things, which, trust me, caused me a lot of problems. I was constantly struggling with some element or another in this book. And at one point, I finally sat down to enlist the help of my editor. I opened an email. I addressed it to her. I even wrote the subject line Help. I have every intention of sending this letter when I sat down, because I was so convinced I could not solve the problem myself, and that she, with her magic editorial wand, would be able to help. So I wrote the email. And as I wrote the email, I realized my editor hadn't read any of the book yet. So she had no idea what I was struggling with. So I had to explain to her what I was struggling with so she could understand the problem more clearly. And what do you know? Just the process of explaining the problem and including enough detail for her to understand the problem got me to the root of it. And before I could send the email, I had solved that dang problem myself. I never actually had to sent the email. Whoa, it really is like magic. Since then, I've shared this wonderful exercise with hundreds of other writers who have reported back similar results. So maybe you had success with this trick. Maybe you didn't. Either way, I urge you to keep going. This was just a sample of the kind of things we're going to be doing in this course to help you shift your mindset, tackle your problems from a new angle, and eventually rid you from writer's block forever. There are lots more tips and tricks where that came from. Actually, there's a whole section of them coming up called The Prolific Writer's Toolbox, filled with, you guessed it, tools on how to become a prolific writer, with a capital P. And even if you didn't get any ideas on how to solve your current problem, what you just did at the start of this course is very important. You defined the problem. You sat down and took the time to try to get to the root of what's blocking you. And defining a problem, understanding a problem, is the first step toward fixing it. As we move forward, just know that you can always come back to this exercise whenever you have a new challenge or blockage that you're struggling with and use it to distill that pesky, seemly insurmountable problem down to its core. Because remember, you can't fix anything until you understand it. In the next lecture, we'll talk a bit more about how this course is designed and structured and how you can get the most out of it. See you there.